So…What’s the Deal with Those Anesthesia-Free Pet Dental Cleanings?
You’ve seen them promoted at pet stores and out at local festivals, but what’s the real deal with those ‘Anesthesia-Free’ dental cleanings?? Dr. Wendy has a LOT to say about them on this week’s episode of ‘Ask Dr. Wendy’!
Dr. Wendy: Let’s have a little chat about today about anesthetic-free dentals and why veterinarians feel so passionately against them. The two main reasons I know people are looking into this is number one cost and number 2 there scared about the risk of anesthetic. I can tell you the risk of anesthetic…the complications are very low. The different protocols we use are very, very safe even in in very old and animals that may not be a hundred percent healthy. So that’s a risk that’s there, but it’s so well managed that it’s it’s a very very low. And cost wises these anesthetic free dentals can cost anywhere between $150 and $300, so if you have a few of them and they’re not effective you’re essentially spending the same when you go to the vet and indeed the anesthetic and you’re also risking a lot more teeth extractions down the road.
The thing with anesthetic free dentals…when we do a dental here, it’s the same as when you go to to your hygenist. They’re taking high-speed probes up right underneath the gum. The most important place where tartar hides and causes problems is underneath the gum. With anesthetic free dentals they can’t get up there – your pet will not sit for them to scrape underneath the gum and get all that hidden tartar. So what I can equate aesthetic-free dental cleaning to his teeth whitening. It doesn’t actually clean under the gum where the problems are, it just makes them look better. The problem with that is it gives you a false sense of security and you think you’re doing the best for your pets.
We had a case not very long ago that routinely gone to anesthetic-free cleanings and then they came to us because the breath wasn’t smelling good and that dog ended up having 18 teeth removed. They looked clean, but you put a probe in and it was like half an inch and this poor dog lost a whole bunch of teeth that unfortunately wouldn’t have needed to happen had they had proper dental cleanings. So what I really want to say is do your research and really think about the difference in how much you can get up under that gum line and that your pet really just can’t do that awake.