Original Question: Does my dog or cat have to be put under anesthesia for a dental cleaning? - Anonymous
Yes. We have to place pets under anesthesia for dental cleanings because they will not tolerate having their teeth scaled and polished while awake and as a result, the surfaces of their teeth would not be adequately cleaned. There are services out there that provide anesthesia-free cleanings which are attractive to pet owners because it takes away the worry of putting their pet under anesthesia. The American College of Veterinary Dentistry (AVDC) has issued a position statement on this practice, and I urge all pet owners to read this document to understand why this is not the best decision for your pet (2019). To allay fears of anesthesia risk, practices should run diagnostic lab tests and design an anesthesia protocol that is tailored to the pet’s current health status.
Jeanne Perrone, MS, CVT, VTS (Dentistry)
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