Pet Dentistry Without Sedation – Worthwhile or Just Surface Changes?

ImageIn veterinary medicine, dental disease is seen in almost every animal.  But, in our busy lives it’s hard to find the time to do regular preventive care.   Adding to the problem, dental cleanings under general anesthesia seems risky to many.  Recently, anesthesia-free pet dentistry has become a fad.  However, is this option good care and safe long term?

With more than 85% of pets over age three suffering from some sort of dental disease, veterinarians are constantly reminding clients to provide at home dental care for their pets.  In addition, most veterinarians encourage annual dental exams and cleanings for their patients followed by care at home.  Still, pet owners are reluctant to follow these recommendations.

Some people are actually leery of anesthetics used for dental procedures.  In response to client concerns, some people have developed Anesthesia-Free Pet Dentistry (AFPD) protocols.  Marketing brochures show calm dogs sitting on the laps of “pet dental hygienists” who gently scrape tartar off the pet’s teeth.  For anyone who has a senior pet or anyone who has lost a pet under anesthetic, this idea might seem to be right on target.