Anesthesia Free Teeth Cleaning For Dogs

February 22, 2010 by Kelley  
Filed under Dog Health

When I began researching this article. I fully intended on learning about all the benefits of anesthesia free teeth cleaning for dogs, but the more I learned, I began to discover that anesthesia free cleaning isn’t necessarily the best choice. You may have the best of intentions for trying to minimize your pet’s exposure to anesthesia, but in the long run you could be doing more harm than good and throwing money out of the window. As always, be vigilant and ask lots of questions. You need to speak for your pet, because no one else will.

The main benefit to an anesthesia free cleaning is obviously the absence of anesthesia and other drugs. In addition to the lack of anesthesia, this type of cleaning is also less expensive, an average cleaning may only cost $95 dollars. Also if performed by highly trained professionals, it can be a very kind and gentle experience for your dog. Here are some things to watch out for when choosing to have your pet’s teeth cleaned without anesthesia:

  • What type of training do the people performing the cleaning have? Are they licensed or certified? Currently there are no regulations or quality controlling measures in place to govern the people who perform anesthesia free cleanings. They might be wonderful and highly skilled, or they could be complete hacks. Do your homework.
  • Ask to see the cleaning area. Remember the adage a picture is worth a thousand words, well this simple step can tell you a lot. Make sure all surfaces are clean and disinfected. If they refuse to let you back into the cleaning area, take your business elsewhere.
  • Be observant and closely monitor how they interact with dogs during a cleaning. Make sure they don’t bind the dog, use bite bars, wraps, or pry open a stubborn dog’s mouth. These tools and techniques are cruel and can severely injure a dog. If they won’t permit you to watch the procedure, take your business elsewhere.
  • Find out if they wear gloves during cleanings. Do they use sterilized equipment and cleaning tools? Do they avoid the spreading of bacteria by not drawing polishes and pastes from a community tub?
  • Do they perform a final polishing step? Polishing is usually performed by a dentist, but highly skilled anesthesia free cleaners often can perform polishing. Polishing is an important step, which not only looks great, but helps to discourage the build-up of future deposits of plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth.

As you can see, there are a lot of red flags to watch out for when shopping for a competent person to perform anesthesia free cleaning. Here are some of the other hidden risks to anesthesia free cleaning.

  • Don’t expect too much. Anesthesia teeth cleaning is just that: it’s teeth cleaning, and nothing else. The only area that gets cleaned is your dog’s teeth. However, periodontal disease is the real culprit, and it lurks below the gum line. The people offering anesthesia free teeth cleaning cannot effectively clean this crucial area; leaving you with a false sense of security and the potential for a big doggy dental bill in the future.
  • The people performing anesthesia free cleanings may miss the symptoms of periodontal disease and other serious conditions such as broken teeth, chipped teeth, loose teeth and even oral cancer.

Your veterinarian, on the other hand, will use anesthesia, and because of it and his extensive training and expertise, he can do the following:

  • Clean above and below the gum line.
  • Polish your dog’s teeth
  • Pre-Anaesthetic blood test
  • Take x-rays
  • Evaluate and pull or repair any broken or diseased teeth.
  • Screen for oral cancer.
  • Prescribe antibiotics and other medications to combat infections

Well there you have it. I’ve done my best to lay it all out for you. There are risks and benefits regardless of the choice you make. The important thing is that you do your homework and make sure that the people cleaning your dog’s teeth are highly skilled professionals. Personally, I plan on having a full dental check-up performed on Sadie and Rusty. Then I’m going to do my best to brush their teeth at least twice a week. I also make sure they have plaque and tarter control in their water.


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3 Responses to “Anesthesia Free Teeth Cleaning For Dogs”
  1. RemcoD says:

    It is useful to try everything in practice anyway and I like that here it’s always possible to find something new. :)

  2. djnaff says:

    You have really great taste on catch article titles, even when you are not interested in this topic you push to read it

  3. Rick says:

    Cleaning above the gum line is extremely important. There are products available that prevent and remove plaque, and do a good job of it. The teeth look great. However, they only take care of the visible surface of the teeth. Any plaque above the gum line is still there and can cause major problems. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because your dogs teeth look good.

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