Dental disease in pets is an important topic in veterinary medicine and is constantly evolving. We have noticed an increasing amount of interest in the concept of dental cleaning and scaling of a pets’ teeth without the use of anesthesia.
While these procedures appear to be cost-effective, they can actually cause much more harm than good. Dangers can range from aspiration pneumonia from inhaling calculi and tartar, head injuries, dental abscesses and even serious jaw fractures. The risks are simply not worth the perceived benefits. In fact, there are no real proven health benefits to this procedure as all of the disease-causing bacteria lay beneath the gum line. As you can imagine, scraping beneath the gum line is painful, especially when there are gingivitis and infection present.
Additionally, using hand scaling tools without polishing the surface of the tooth afterwards creates grooves in the teeth that make bacteria and tartar build-up even faster. Unfortunately, our pets do not understand the benefits of having their teeth cleaned and often object to these uncomfortable procedures. Currently, our laws in Ontario allow anyone to perform these cosmetic procedures without any veterinary training, as long as they advertise that the services are for cosmetic purposes only and provide no health benefit.
As veterinary professionals, we urge owners to avoid anesthetic free teeth cleaning and educate themselves on the importance of proper comprehensive dental cleaning with the use of anesthesia by a Veterinarian. We are here to help educate and answer any questions you may have.
Give us a call at 905.727.9449 to discuss this important topic and to schedule a free comprehensive dental exam for your furry friend.