“Why does my pet need an anaesthetic for dental work?” It’s a question we hear a lot, and it’s a great one! We recommend that all canine or feline dental procedures occur under general anaesthesia. Here’s why:
We can check your pet more thoroughly
For a thorough assessment of their oral health, pets should have all surfaces of their teeth checked, as well as their tongue, palate, jaws and throat opening. It’s also important to carefully measure the gum pockets around each tooth with a fine probe, as deeper than normal pockets suggest hidden disease around the tooth root.
We know very few pets who would tolerate these procedures while conscious!
We can perform a better clean
We must clean both above and below the gumline of each tooth to remove all tartar and prevent the progression of dental disease. The insertion of dental instruments below the gumline can be uncomfortable, so most pets require a general anaesthetic for a thorough cleaning.
Anaesthetic reduces stress and pain for your pet
Even if your pet is generally tolerant and relaxed, the noises and vibrations of electric dental instruments combined with bright medical lights would likely be a scary experience for them (as well as for us humans!).
Additionally, even a mild dental disease can cause increased tooth and gum sensitivity, which could make a simple clean painful.
Having your pet under anaesthetic ensures they feel no pain or stress during their procedure. It also allows us to administer pain relief medications and numbing nerve blocks if required so they recover comfortably too.
In short, we believe that performing dental procedures under general anaesthesia is best for our animal patients, and that’s the tooth!
If you have any further concerns about anaesthesia or dental procedures for your pet, consult our caring vets.