AFD

Dental Month tip: anaesthesia-free dentistry is harmful and useless

You may have seen offers around for anaesthesia-free dentistry for pets at enticingly low prices, but these procedures are potentially painful and stressful for your pet.

Performing dental examinations and procedures on pets requires vets to get in below the gum line and use dental instruments that need to be very sharp to debride the calculus and plaque from the teeth, which, if your pet is awake, can be painful, distressing and potentially result in injury.

A sufficient routine oral examination must check every single tooth underneath the gum line, as well as the tongue, palate and back of the throat. So, not only is anaesthesia-free dentistry painful, it’s only doing half the job. Simply removing the calculus from the crown of the tooth does not address where disease can form, it’s merely window dressing and does not tackle any deep-rooted issues.

When your pet undergoes anaesthesia-free dentistry, they are physically restrained for a prolonged period of time, unnecessarily provoking traumatic stress and fear. “As the animal is conscious, it will be fully aware of any pain involved in the procedure and this can lead to longer-term anxiety and aversion to being touched around the face and muzzle,” says Dr Cashman from the Australian Veterinary Association’s Dental Society.

So, if you see offers pop up for anaesthesia-free dentistry, put your pet first and say “no”. For your pet’s comfort, safety and wellbeing, routine veterinary dental checks under anaesthetic are the way to go.

Read more about the dangers of anaesthesia-free dentistry from the RSPCA and Vet Voice.

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