Is anesthesia really necessary for my pet’s dental cleaning?Your pet must be anesthetized to allow thorough evaluation of his mouth, clean his teeth above and below the gumline, and treat painful dental conditions. According to the 2019 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats, anesthesia-free dentistry is neither safer nor a sufficiently comparable service to supra- and subgingival cleaning in an anesthetized patient, and is therefore unacceptable. Although owners’ fear of anesthesia is the most common reason pets don’t receive medically necessary dental care, most animals do well under anesthesia and have few complications.
Why is anesthesia needed for dental procedures in pets?Only a limited oral exam and tartar removal above the gumline is possible without anesthesia. Dental anesthesia is critical for a complete, thorough cleaning for the following reasons:
Prior to anesthesia, a thorough physical exam and blood tests will be performed to screen for diseases that could cause anesthetic complications. In particular, the liver and kidneys are assessed, since they break down and eliminate anesthetic medications. Patient evaluation allows the veterinarian to customize the safest anesthetic and pain management plan unique to your pet and his needs.
An intravenous catheter will be placed for fluid administration throughout the procedure, and for emergency medications should complications arise.
Sedation will be administered before anesthesia is induced to relax your pet and relieve any anxiety. About 20 minutes later, your pet will be anesthetized. He will become unconscious and completely unaware of what is happening, will feel no pain, and will have no memory of the procedure.
An endotracheal (breathing) tube will be placed in your pet for airway protection and oxygen administration, which he will receive throughout the procedure to ensure his blood stays oxygenated.
Anesthetic medications slow down the heart and lungs, and each pet is closely monitored to ensure adequate cardiovascular and respiratory function are maintained. From the moment your pet is placed under anesthesia, your AAHA-accredited veterinary team will monitor your pet’s vital signs, including:
With proper precautions, dental anesthesia is safe as well as necessary. All pets should receive the important dental care they need to live the healthy, pain-free life they deserve.
“Should My Pet Be Anesthetized for Dental Care?” AAHA.Org, www.aaha.org/your-pet/pet-owner-education/ask-aaha/Anesthesia-and-Dental-Cleaning. Accessed 11 Jan. 2020.
4/18/2020 08:06:08 am
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8/25/2022 10:28:04 am
I want to make sure that my dog has healthy teeth. It makes sense that having him anesthetized would be beneficial for dogs getting dental care. That seems like a good way to ensure that he doesn't get himself hurt by thrashing or looking around during dental cleaning.
9/28/2022 02:16:55 am
I appreciate that you explained that proper evaluation of oral health would be provided by your service provider to gather information. I have a cousin who thinks that her pet has a dental problem because she is not eating properly, and she asked if I had any idea what would be the best option to do. I wanted to thank you for your explanation, I'll be sure to tell her that she can consult trusted animal hospital services as they can answer all her inquiries and will provide the proper treatment.
10/5/2022 09:35:55 pm
I like how you mentioned that a comprehensive dental examination and X-rays may identify dental issues that cannot be repaired without an anesthetic yet call for prompt treatment. My puppy's teeth are bleeding as a result of a tumble. I'll consult a specialist in animal anesthesia for guidance so I can treat my dog right away.
Thanks for pointing out that veterinarians would probably not be letting the professionals check their mouths with their tools, so they would definitely anesthetize them. I guess I have to be aware of that when I take my dog to a pet dentist I can find here in Kingswood, Texas this weekend. It would definitely give me the assurance that my dog will be safe in the while process and will actually be checked completely to know if there are issues.
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DeBary Animal Clinic
Address: 30 S. Highway 17-92
DeBary, Florida 32713
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