Is Anesthetic Dental Cleaning Safe for My Pet?
Many pet owners have concerns about putting their animal under anesthesia, especially when the procedure sounds routine, like a teeth cleaning. While the treatment does carry some inherent risk (anesthesia may not be recommended if your pet is older and/or has other conditions impacting their health), it is actually safe and offers several clear advantages when compared to non-anesthetic alternatives.
What Are the Main Differences Between Anesthetic and Non-Anesthetic Dental Cleaning?
Anesthetic dental cleaning offers many benefits your pet will not receive from a non-anesthetic procedure. For starters, non-anesthetic cleanings are often purely cosmetic—whitening your pet’s teeth without attacking the underlying oral issues that may be lurking beneath the surface or below the gums. When the animal is awake, it’s simply not possible to do the kind of deep, comprehensive cleaning a dog or cat really needs.
What Are the Risks of a Non-Anesthetic Dental Cleaning?
Another important difference to consider is the respective risks of whichever procedure you elect for your pet. With non-anesthetic cleanings, the animal is at greater risk of suffering anxiety and stress during and even after the treatment. As many pet owners can attest, having your teeth cleaned can be an uncomfortable and intrusive experience, even though you know it’s good for you! Non-anesthetic cleanings also carry a higher risk of accidental injury should the animal jerk their head suddenly or become startled while the vet is performing the cleaning.
What Benefits Does an Anesthetic Dental Cleaning Offer?
If your pet is unconscious, it is possible to perform a much more thorough examination of their teeth and mouth. Each tooth can be individually checked, cleaned, scaled, and even x-rayed to provide a more complete picture of the animal’s oral health. Critically, the vet can also check beneath the gum line to determine whether any teeth need particular attention or extraction. In short, the procedure enables your vet to learn more about the condition of your dog or cat and produce a more informed treatment plan.
How Often Should I Have My Pet’s Teeth Cleaned?
Opinions vary among vets and can change drastically based on a variety of factors including the animal’s age, size, diet, and any dental care they receive at home. As a result, there is no one good answer to how often it is necessary to have your pet’s teeth cleaned—it could be once a year, once every five years, or possibly even once in their entire lifetime. If you have specific questions about your pet’s oral and dental health, the first step is to contact your vet and determine a cleaning plan that works for you and your dog or cat!
Is your pet due for a professional teeth cleaning? Schedule an appointment with our dentistry specialists today!