Dental Anesthesia: Benefits Vs. Risk

February 22, 2017
hello world!

Did you know that your pet’s mouth should be checked at least once a year for early signs of dental disease and to keep their mouth healthy? Twice a year is recommended!

Our pets develop plaque just like us; plaque can also harden into tartar. Tartar above the gum line can often be seen and removed. If it is below the gum line it can be very damaging. It sets the stage for infection: it can cause damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the teeth to the jawbone.

Before your pets dental, we will draw blood for analysis and complete a thorough exam. This will help us to identify any potential problems that the doctor may need to be aware of and to determine if the pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.

During a dental cleaning your pet is fully anesthetized, this is so we can ensure the procedure is carried out properly. When your pet is anesthetized we are able get a full set of dental x-rays taken, which will tell us how severe the dental disease is, and if there are any extractions needed. We put in place strict protocols to ensure anesthesia is safe for your pets. This also means your pet will recover more quickly and with less pain.

Your pet will also get a full cleaning and scaling, we also polish with fluoride and sealants, just as they do at the human dentist!

You may be thinking “Hey, I can take my pet to that ‘anesthesia free’ dental place I read about online for cheaper”. We can tell you right now “Don't do it!” During an anesthesia-free dental, your pet is not sedate and they would have to be heavily restrained during the procedure to make sure they don’t move while the teeth are cleaned. There is also no way to do a full dental exam, or thorough teeth cleaning because they can’t possibly see or reach all the places they need to get to. As well, dental x-rays will not be taken, meaning they will miss up to 70% of the dental problems, leaving them at risk for remaining oral disease.

Fear of general anesthesia is a common concern for many owners, when a dental procedure is recommended by the doctor. However, the risk of chronic oral infection, is far greater than the risk of an anesthetic complication.

After the procedure we will give you a full report of findings and any recommendations for home care in between cleanings. Things you can do at home to keep your pet’s breath fresh and their teeth looking pearly white is: annual to bi-annual exams, start getting them used to teeth brushing at a young age with a doggie or kitty approved toothpaste and toothbrush, feed high quality dry foods, use dental treats, wipes, and food supplements. Last but not least, dental specific chew toys are good thing to keep around the house.

If you have any questions or concerns please speak with your veterinarian!