At Sandia Animal Clinic, dental month comes around twice a year, in February and August. So, let’s talk about dental care. Specifically, let’s talk about professional cleanings, exams, and anesthesia.

Clients often request that we perform dentals without anesthesia. They’re concerned about two things: the expense and the health risk. We understand our clients’ concerns, and we never take them lightly. However, there are important reasons we only perform dental cleanings and exams with the use of anesthesia.

If you’ve ever had surgery, or ever watched a medical drama, you know the dialogue about how while anesthesia is generally safe, going under always carries some risk. Well, that’s exactly right. The risk is there; but it’s tiny. We follow proper procedures with diligence and attention to ensure the best, safest possible outcomes. We want the best for your pets, and what’s best for pets is anesthetizing them during dental work. Here’s why:

Anesthesia-Free Dentals Stress Your Pets

It’s a fact that dental cleanings without anesthesia don’t do much. They’re not worth the time, money, and stress on your pet. Without anesthesia, we must physically restrain pets while we scrape the plaque and tarter that builds up on teeth. It’s uncomfortable at best. It can be painful. It’s definitely stressful. Pets don’t have a clue about what’s happening to them. Their heart rates soar as they panic.

Anesthesia-Free Dentals Only Scratch the Surface

Your pet’s dental involves a thorough examination that includes deep inspection of the entire mouth. It also includes radiographs, which give us an inside view of what’s going on with your pet’s teeth and jaw. While pets are awake, it’s nearly impossible to give this complete oral examination.

Aside from the discomfort, stress, and narrow view of oral health that anesthesia-free dental cleanings cause, they don’t allow us to reach the true problem areas. Harmful bacteria often reside under the gum line. We use specific equipment to scrape and remove plaque from this area. However, we can’t get to this area to rid it of bacteria when pets are awake.

Bacteria that thrive under the gum line cause periodontal disease. Periodontal disease damages tissue and bone, causes inflamed and bleeding gums, leads to tooth loss, and causes pain. The bacteria harbored beneath the gum line also travel through the bloodstream. They can infect and damage the heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs.

Safety and Expense

Regarding expense, it makes financial sense to pay for a proper cleaning rather than paying for complications later caused by unchecked disease. These same complications are also more of a risk to pets’ health than using anesthetic during dental producers

Good oral health is as important for our pets as it is for us. It affects not only the mouth, but also the full body. To prevent disease, pain, and tooth loss, full exams and cleanings are necessary. In order to achieve these, we need anesthetic. It’s simply what’s best for our patients.


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