Why does my dog need anesthesia for teeth cleaning?

Why does my dog need anesthesia for teeth cleaning? - Freeport Veterinary Hospital

There are many reasons. It seems like you should be able to do a quick cleaning and chunk off that tartar pretty easily in most dogs, but what you don't think about is one, the dog doesn't know what we're doing. And two, sometimes those are sharp instruments. It's hard to make the dog understand that you just need to hold still for a little bit. So, it's vital that we use anesthesia to keep the dog and our staff safe, but more importantly, by having them under anesthesia and having a breathing tube in place, we're able to protect their airway. We use an ultrasonic scaler to remove the tartar and clean the teeth, and that aerosolizes a lot of bacteria as we're cleaning off that tartar. If we didn't have a breathing tube in place, it could allow your dog to breathe in that bacteria, which would put him at risk for an infection like pneumonia.

Also, we take dental X-rays on all of our patients. We use a tiny plate (about an inch and a half by an inch and a half ) that captures the X-ray images, and it costs about $10,000.00. So we'd prefer Fluffy not to swallow that or chomp on it. That's another reason that anesthesia is critical, as we want to keep that plate safe and allow us to get really good films and figure out what's going on with the teeth.

why does my dog need anesthesia for teeth cleaning? - Animal Hospital of Statesville

Well, you could try to clean them like ours, but we don't recommend it. And you're also not going to do a very good job with that. So, pets don't say, "Ah," they don't open their mouth and let us get in there and mess around and scrape and crawl around and do our x-rays, et cetera. So yeah, the pets do have to be sedated for that. There has to be anesthesia involved to be able to truly assess the tooth. We really can't tell what's going on with that probe in the tooth without taking the tooth’s dental x-rays. And that can't be done in a pet who's awake.

Why does my dog need anesthesia for teeth cleaning? - Haywood Road Animal Hospital

Some people don't like dental cleanings either, but unlike people, dogs are not going to sit still for us to clean their teeth. When we do a dental cleaning on a dog, it's more like a deep cleaning that you would get if you go to the dentist. We get underneath the gum line, scale, and polish those teeth. So it's not the most pleasant procedure. Also, when we do a dental cleaning here at Haywood Road, we take x-rays of all of their teeth, and this has to be done under anesthesia because, again, they're just not going to sit still for those x-rays.

Why does my dog need anesthesia for teeth cleaning? - Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

Your dog needs anesthesia for proper teeth cleaning and assessment because dogs will not hold still while the procedure is being done. Anesthesia protects your dog's airway from water used during the cleaning process. If water enters the lungs, it can cause aspiration pneumonia. Anesthesia also allows the veterinarian to take dental x-rays, clean the surface of the teeth, and probe and clean under the gum line safely.

Why does my dog need anesthesia for teeth cleaning? - Briar Patch Veterinary Hospital

Anesthesia is necessary for a thorough dental cleaning in dogs because it allows veterinarians to perform various procedures that would be impossible with an awake dog. These include probing and checking every tooth, taking dental x-rays, and ensuring that the water used during cleaning does not get swallowed or inhaled inappropriately. Anesthesia keeps your dog comfortable and safe throughout the procedure.