Dangers of Dental Scaling without Anesthesia

You may have noticed advertisements for anesthesia-free teeth cleanings at some local pet stores. Pet owners are naturally concerned when it comes to anesthesia for themselves or their pets. So why should you avoid this type of service?

Normal appearing tooth with advanced periodontal disease below the gumline

Normal appearing tooth with advanced periodontal disease below the gumline

Dental x-ray

The arrows show severe loss of supportive bone and a deep infected pocket.

Pet owners get a false sense that they’re are doing something beneficial for their pets.

  • There is a real danger of causing pain and damage to your pet as the non-professional attempts to clean your pet’s teeth in areas that need the most attention. Jaw fractures are a problem that is most often encountered in small dogs and cats with advanced dental disease.
  • The primary health benefit of teeth cleanings is to prevent disease or stop the progression of disease once it has started. This disease occurs under the gumline, an area that can not be adequately treated in the awake patient. It is not possible to adequately examine the back of the mouth (especially on the side of the tooth facing the tongue) without anesthesia.
  • Just like for us, dental x-rays are crucial for detecting problems, such as bone loss and infection, that are hidden under the gum line. This can only be done under anesthesia by trained professionals.
  • When only the visible tartar is removed, the pet’s teeth appear clean the pain and infection have not been addressed and the disease under the gumline continues to fester.
  • Early gum disease is reversible. If left untreated, dental disease leads to advanced irreversible periodontal disease causing oral pain, tooth loss and systemic complications such as heart, liver and kidney disease?
    You can find more information about the dangers of Dental Scaling Without Anesthesia at the American Veterinary Dental College website.

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