At Home Care:At home dental care for your pets is critical to their health & longevity. For this purpose, we recommend using a product approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) like Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste.
This procedure is a newer trend of scaling pet teeth to remove tartar stains on pet teeth. It is considered a cosmetic procedure that does not address underlying oral disease. Further, it may inadvertently result in injury or infection. More details on Anesthesia-Free Dentistry can be found in a recent article from Healthy pets with Dr Becker.
Professional Dental Scaling by a Licensed Veterinarian:
If your pet has existing tartar (brown buildup) on its teeth, a licensed veterinarian is the only professional - by law - who can safely provide dental scaling under anesthesia.
While it is completely understandable to be concerned about your pet's safety, The Safest Way to Clean Your Pet's Teeth by Dr. Watts should ease your mind.
While anesthesia is never 100% percent risk-free, pre-treatment evaluation & modern medical techniques minimize risks. In fact, millions of dental scaling procedures are now safely done annually in veterinary hospitals.
Before anesthesia, a veterinarian evaluates the general health & size of a pet to determine the proper drug & dose. During treatment, continual monitoring is performed. Vets are well trained in all of these procedures. Here's a brief overview:
1. Dental tartar is firmly attached on a tooth's surface so removing tartar can only be safely AND properly done with ultrasonic and sonic power scalers, along with sharp-edged hand instruments.
2. Professional dental scaling happens on each tooth surface above AND below the gum line. The most critical cleaning happens between the gum & the root of each tooth, where there is active periodontal disease. It is not possible to access the area of each tooth on a non-anesthetized pet.
3. Inhalation anesthesia keeps pets comfortable & pain free during the procedure, allowing the vet to access & treat affected dental tissues. Further, the pet's airway & lungs are protected from accidental aspiration.
4. During anesthesia, a complete oral exam is also performed to allow the vet to check all teeth surfaces facing the tongue (which no pet will allow when fully awake). Without this comprehensive check, areas of disease & discomfort are likely to be missed.
Sophie, our 10 year old beagle just had her teeth cleaned last month for the 1st time since we got her 8 years ago. Thankfully, she had very mild tartar & required no tooth extractions. We took her to the vet hospital at 8 am and this was her 1 hour after returning home...
Bottom line: The sooner you start at-home care, the less often - and less likely - you will have to have their teeth professionally cleaned!
Have a Naturally Beautiful Day! ☺️