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

Posts for tag: periodontal disease

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.

Do not procrastinate on your pet's dental care. In North America periodontal disease is the number one diagnosed condition in companion animals. Periodontal disease is much easier to prevent than to treat. Even mild dental disease can potentially lead to irreversible damage and the possibility of future extractions if left untreated.


Similar to people, home dental care for companion animals should start early. Daily teeth brushing (even on cats) should be started ideally when they are young. But even older pets can learn to accept brushing. Dental sealants can easily be placed at the spay or neuter surgery. Other oral home care options such as dental formulated foods, water additives, and dental treats should be considered. 
Even with good oral home care, periodic professional cleanings are key. Professional cleanings should ideally be started early in a pet’s life before any advanced dental disease is present. Just like you, they need their teeth cleaned frequently throughout their lives to help prevent disease.


"Doggie breath" is not considered normal; it actually indicates bacterial involvement. It is also not normal for dogs and cats to lose teeth every year. Do not procrastinate on dental care. If dental disease is already present in your pet, address what can not be reversed and, with the help of your veterinarian, formulate a plan to help stop the progression.


For more information on periodontal disease, please visit http://www.dentistvet.com/periodontal-disease.html

Have a dental related question about your pet?  Send an email to Doctor Beebe.