for preventative dental care.
Why does dentistry require anesthesia?
When you go to the dentist, you know that what’s being done is meant to help you and keep your mouth healthy. Your dentist uses techniques to minimize pain and discomfort and can ask you how you are feeling, so you accept the procedures and do your best to keep still. Your pet does not understand the benefit of dental procedures, and he or she reacts by moving, trying to escape, or even biting.
Anesthesia makes it possible to perform the dental procedures with less stress and pain for your pet. In addition, anesthesia allows for a better cleaning because your pet is not moving around and risking injury from the dental equipment.
Although anesthesia will always have risks, it’s safer now than ever and continues to improve so that the risks are very low and are far outweighed by the benefits. Here at Orcas Veterinary Service, we monitor all our patients during anesthesia and ensure they are in safe hands. Most pets can go home the same day of the procedure, although they might seem a little groggy for the rest of the day.
Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of your pets' teeth and all other aspects of oral health care. These procedures should be performed by a veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist. Subject to state or provincial regulation, veterinary technicians are allowed to perform certain dental procedures under the supervision of a veterinarian.
The process begins with an oral exam of your pet’s mouth by a veterinarian. Because most dental disease occurs below the gumline, where you can’t see it, a thorough dental cleaning and evaluation are performed under anesthesia. Dental cleaning includes scaling (to remove dental plaque and tartar) and polishing, similar to the process used on your own teeth during your regular dental cleanings.
Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health, and dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
Call us at (360) 376-6373 to schedule a dental appointment. OVS is offering a 10 % discount on all routine dental cleanings in the month of February, in conjunction with Pet Dental Month.
What about “anesthesia-free” dental cleanings?
The AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Veterinary Dental College do not recommend dental cleanings without anesthesia because they do not allow cleaning or inspection below the gumline, where most dental disease occurs, and can result in injury to the pet or the person performing the procedure.