I've heard some vets offer anesthesia-free dental. Is that true? - Freeport Veterinary Hospital

Some vets indeed offer this. It's more commonly seen at grooming facilities or things like that. The veterinary dentist, in general, believes that this is not a great idea. Some of the reasons include what I talked about before in that we have sharp instruments in the dog's mouth, so there are some safety concerns there. But also, when you don't have a dog that's not anesthetized, you can't evaluate under the gum line. You can't monitor the roots or check for gum health, or things like that. By just cracking that tartar off or scraping it off, you're also damaging the enamel. Without polishing out those scratches and scrapes, we can damage the enamel over time and cause more problems.

I've heard some vets offer anesthesia-free dental. Is that true? - Animal Hospital of Statesville

Well, there may be anesthesia-free tartar cracking, but it's sure not a dental cleaning. Whenever you do a dental cleaning on a pet, you must get under the gum line, and no dog will allow you to clean under the gum line without sedation. The other thing is, if you're just cracking the tartar off with the instruments to crack the tartar, you're putting grooves in the enamel, which makes it easier for more tartar to build up. The dog doesn’t just need the cleaning, but they need the polishing and the fluoride treatment as well. So, no, there's no such thing as an anesthesia-free dental cleaning. And our accreditation from AHA requires that we use anesthesia.