We encourage you to visit www.avdc.org/AFD for detailed information for pet owners with facts and answers to your questions about anesthesia free dental cleanings.
Anesthesia-free pet dental cleanings, or as we refer to it Non Anesthesia Dental (NAD), is gaining popularity with an increasing number of dog and cat owners. These are well-meaning pet guardians who may be fearful of anesthesia or may not be able to afford professional veterinary dental care so they opt for anesthesia-free dentistry, but it is really just a cosmetic procedure that addresses only the parts of your pet's teeth you can see.
Why Anesthesia is needed for Dental Procedures?
A thorough oral exam and cleaning can't be accomplished on a pet that is awake. Anesthesia immobilizes your dog or cat to insure their safety and cooperation during a procedure. It allows for a thorough exam of all the surfaces inside the mouth and the taking of x-rays. Anesthesia is needed for scaling below the gum line where periodontal disease is most active. Anesthesia also provides pain control.
Non-professional dental scaling can potentially give pet owners a false sense of security about the state of their dog's or cat’s oral health. Even though your pet's teeth – what you can see of them – may look clean and fresh after an anesthesia-free dental procedure, what you can't see is actually more important. Problems like plaque build-up below the gum line and gingivitis aren't addressed during a procedure that only scrapes and polishes the teeth. Most oral disease happens below the visible surfaces of your dog's or cat's mouth.
Many older dogs and cats that have undergone anesthesia-free dental procedures for years develop significant dental disease requiring multiple extractions as they age.
More resources about Anesthesia Free Pet Dental Cleanings
- Case demonstrating consequences of anesthesia free pet dental cleanings from Colorado Board Certified Veterinary Dentist & Colleague Dr. Tony Woodward.
- Read the American Veterinary Dental College's (AVDC) position statement on dental scaling without anesthesia.
- Learn more about our anesthesia safety, experience and protocols at Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists.