Cinema Veterinary Centre

Why an Anesthetic Dental Cleaning?

Posted on Feb 25, 2015 by  | Tags: canine, feline, dog teeth dental care

(The picture above shows the mouth of a canine before and after an anesthetic dental cleaning. The top picture shows heavy tartar and calculus on the teeth and gingivitis. The bottom picture shows the teeth after a cleaning where the calculus and tartar was removed, and that the premolar tooth root is actually exposed as well as the gum line is recessed. This tooth ended up falling out after the cleaning.)

Why do we require anesthesia for routine dental cleanings? According to Brett Beckman, DVM, DAVDC, DAAPM, in an article from DVM360, in regards to non-anesthetic cleanings, "Without radiographs, the cleaning is cosmetic only." says Beckman, past president of the American Veterinary Dental Society.  (Moser, 2013)

A thorough cleaning for your dog or cat entails the exact same cleaning we humans receive at our dentist office annually. Our anesthetic cleanings include supragingival and subgingival scaling and polishing, periodontal probing, fluoride treatment, and dental radiographs that allow us to see the roots of each tooth. Because most owners are not brushing their pets’ teeth every day, there is a significant amount of plaque and tartar build up as one can imagine.  All of this build up can affect the body’s major organs and in extreme cases, can lead to liver or kidney failure.

In order for us to perform all of these treatments most effectively, it requires the patient to be as still as possible, thus the reason we need to use anesthesia. The use of anesthesia is completely safe as long as we perform a basic blood work panel on our patients prior to using the anesthetic. Having these baseline values allows us to ensure the procedure will be safe for your furry family member.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) calls dentistry without anesthesia "unacceptable and below the standard of care" and the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) issued a statement warning against its use. AAHA and the AVDC, along with many others in the veterinary community, agree that the procedure isn't thorough enough, could cause more damage and does a disservice to patients.  (Moser, 2013)

Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors to discuss your concerns about an anesthetic dental cleaning for your pet.


Excerpts from, ‘Getting to the Root of Anesthesia-Free Veterinary Dental Care.’