Apex Dog and Cat Dentistry
945 W. Jefferson Ave.
Englewood, CO 80110
(303) 810-6029
[email protected]

There has recently been a marketing surge pushing anesthesia free dentistry. 
Bottom line, anesthesia free (non-professional) dentistry is not recommended.  Here’s why:

  • Most people offering this service aren't trained medical professionals.
  • During the awake cleaning process, the pet may be stressed or injured. Removal of plaque involves the use of sharp instruments and if your pet moves, they may be injured. It is unlikely that even the best behaved pet will sit for the 45-60 minutes of time the process should take.
  • Real dental disease is not treated. Without anesthesia,  only the plaque, tartar,  and calculus that is on the visible surface of the teeth is removed. The teeth may look pretty but the plaque and tartar that is below the gumline and on the inside of the tooth is not properly removed. This is where the majority of dental disease exists.
  • Dental disease will undoubtedly be missed and go untreated. With anesthesia free dentistry, proper examination, measurements, and dental x-rays can not be taken.  

Above are pictures of a dog that received anesthesia free cleanings. The outside surfaces of the teeth (left) look clean, but the inside surfaces of the teeth (right) are covered with plaque and tartar. This dog was diagnosed with severe, chronic periodontal disease once proper examination was finally performed.

When performed correctly, anesthesia is considered safe.  Please visit our page on anesthesia for more information.

Unfortunately, we have seen many pets who have received frequent anesthesia free cleanings. It is not until a proper examination by a veterinarian is performed that severe dental disease is noted. It is much easier and less expensive to prevent dental disease by providing proper care  than to treat advanced periodontal disease with oral surgery and extractions. To read more about why non-professional dentistry is not recommended, please go to the AVDC website.

Please look for our next blog on questions to ask your veterinarian before your pet undergoes general anesthesia.

We want to hear from you. Please email your dental related questions to Dentist Vet.