We know that many people are offered this service by a groomer, pet store or even some veterinary practices. It can feel uncomfortable to say no to their suggestion of an anesthesia free dental, when you are accustomed to using their other services regularly.
First, it’s important to remember that it’s your pet’s health that is of utmost importance. Here are a few ways you can respond so that you can move on quickly and not feel as though you need to defend yourself or get into a discussion that you don’t have time for.
“No thank you. We utilize our veterinarian for all of our pet’s health needs.”
“Thank you, we noticed that our pet’s teeth are not looking good and their breath smells. We feel this is important enough to us that we’ll be taking them to our veterinarian for a comprehensive veterinary dental cleaning.”
“Our veterinarian provides a full dental cleaning and oral health exam that cleans beneath the gumline and will make sure that our pet is free from periodontal disease or other painful dental problems.”
But my groomer says anesthesia is dangerous for my pet and we can do this without that risk?
The risk of anesthesia is what providers mention as the main argument for an anesthesia free dentistry. In reality, the risks associated with anesthesia are extremely minimal. However, being that periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in dogs and cats, your pet’s risk of periodontal disease is extremely high. At the point periodontal disease has developed, that treatment will require not only anesthesia, but often extensive surgery and teeth extractions.
Anesthesia is very safe. There are questions you can ask your veterinarian to learn more about their anesthesia protocol. You may want to tell your provider:
“We are comfortable with our veterinarian and know that anesthesia is required for my pet to get the proper level of dental care and a thorough oral health exam.”
My veterinarian offers Non-Anesthesia Dentals
Please remember the American Animal Hospital Association only certifies those veterinary hospitals who adhere to strict guidelines meant to assure pet owners their pet is receiving the highest level of care. One of these standards is that all dental cleanings and procedures are completed under anesthesia. You can read the AAHA Dental Guidelines here.
If your veterinarian offers a non-anesthesia dental, you might want to say you plan to call some area veterinarians who will provide a full cleaning under anesthesia, including dental x-rays, so you can be assured your pet’s oral health is being thoroughly evaluated.