Pet dentals: anesthesia or not, that is the question

By Connie Orcutt • Published: March 30th, 2016
Category: Animal Airwaves

More pet parents are recognizing the need for dental care for their four-legged kids. But for some, the potential risks and costs of anesthesia used for dental procedures are deal breakers.

Companies offering so-called “anesthesia-free” dentals aim to address such concerns. Unfortunately, their stated goal of removing tartar for cosmetic reasons just can’t treat — or prevent — dental disease. To be useful, cleaning needs to include scraping (or scaling) under the gum line, and that’s painful to pets. And if not followed by a good polish, scaling actually leads to more tartar buildup. But polishing — not to mention X-rays and probing for dental disease — is virtually impossible to perform without anesthesia.

So in the end, anesthesia-free dentals are not stress-free — and they won’t get to the root of dental disease either.