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Should anesthesia be used on my pet for dentistry?

In certain cases, to do a comprehensive evaluation and cleaning below the gumline of your pet, your pet must be anesthetized. Depending on the severity of your pet’s periodontal health, anesthesia free dentistry may not be enough when compared to a complete deep cleaning under anesthesia. A dental examination will determine if your pet has advanced periodontal disease or issues that will require anesthesia. Poor dental health can have serious effects on your pet’s quality of life and be extremely painful. Bacteria can travel from the mouth to organs such as the kidneys, liver and heart.

Important Pet Dental Facts:

  • Over 80% of dogs over 3 years of age and 85% of cats over 4 years of age have some stage of periodontal disease?

    *Signs of periodontal disease include: Bad breath, discoloration and/or build up on the teeth, redness of the gums, sensitivity of the mouth or face, bleeding from the gums or mouth, difficulty or decreased desire to chew, and more.*

  • Small dogs are more prone to dental disease due to genetics * Especially certain breeds, like Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Pugs, Miniature Poodles, and Yorkies.
  • Veterinarians have found a correlation between heart, kidney, and liver disease in pets with severe periodontal disease *Regular dental care and a healthy mouth make for an overall healthier cat or dog.
  • Domestic animals hide signs of pain or discomfort long after they feel it? Dental disease is a progressive disease, which gives our pets time to “adapt” and “deal with” the pain. By the time they start showing us, it usually means the teeth are too far gone to save and require surgical extraction.

*Facts provided by the AVMA and/or AVDC

X-Ray of Broken Dog Tooth Requiring Removal - Reed Animal Hospital, Serving Saratoga and Campbell Areas

When is Anesthesia Necessary?

  • Complete dental examinations
  • Dental X-rays
  • Deep periodontal cleanings below the gumline
  • Extraction of teeth
  • To do a thorough examination of ligaments and bones connected to teeth.
Dental Transformation in a Dog - Reed Animal Hospital, Serving Saratoga and Campbell Areas

What to Expect at Your Pet’s Dental Exam

  • An examination of the mouth looking for bleeding, red, or swollen gums
  • A visual check for broken, discolored, loose, or missing teeth, as well as gum recession
  • A blood test for the safety of the animal to ensure that kidneys, liver, and heart function are satisfactory for anesthesia

Under general anesthesia

  • A full tooth by tooth examination
  • Cleaning and polishing under gumline
  • X-rays are performed
  • Check of tonsils, tongue, lip margin, cheek tissue, TMJ joint, dog’s jaw, and enlargements or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Extractions done if necessary

We Treat Your Pet as if They Were Our Own