“Anesthesia-Free” has a nice ring to it, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t as nice as it sounds. In order to benefit the patient, a dental cleaning must accomplish a level of cleaning not possible without anesthesia. So, what must a cleaning entail? Not only should you remove the calculus and plaque visible to the naked eye, but you must remove the tartar and bacteria beneath the gumline. It’s the tartar and plaque here that actually cause periodontal disease, and lead to further infection, tooth loss, and bone loss. When you only remove the tartar and plaque above the gum, you only make it look pretty for a little bit, but don’t provide any lasting benefit to the patient.
Beyond cleaning, a complete dental procedure should involve x-rays of each tooth and its root, as well as full inspection of each tooth (all 42 of them if you’re a dog, and 30 if you’re a cat!) to evaluate for pockets of bone loss, disease, fractures, or tooth defects. This is also not possible with even the most patient, tolerant dog or cat fully awake, not to mention it would be scary for the patient!
Since we need the anesthesia to perform an adequate dental procedure, we also need to make it as safe as possible. Anesthesia performed appropriately by well trained professionals carries minimal risk to the patient. At Newaygo Veterinary Services, each medication protocol is tailored to the individual patient. Bloodwork prior to anesthesia alerts our anesthesia team to any disease the dog or cat may be dealing with that may interfere with the anesthesia. Intravenous fluids support the patient’s blood pressure and allows for instant access should any interventions needs to be made. Continuous monitoring of vitals during the procedure, as well as rigorous monitoring before and after the procedure alerts our team to any complications the dog or cat may be experiencing.
In short, not only is anesthesia absolutely required for a proper dental cleaning, but is quite safe when done appropriately.
9022 S Mason Drive
Newaygo, MI 49337
Monday-Friday: 7am to 5pm
Two Saturdays a month: 8am to 1pm