The Difference Between an Anesthetic Dental and a Non-Anesthetic Dental Procedure

The Difference Between an Anesthetic Dental and a Non-Anesthetic Dental Procedure
An anesthetic dental procedure is a dental cleaning that is performed under anesthesia.  Often times other dental procedures, such as radiographs and extractions, are done at the same time.  A non-anesthetic dental procedure is a dental cleaning completed without anesthesia.  The pet is restrained using gentle, proprietary holds that ensure the pet’s safety throughout the dental procedure.

Under the proper care of a licensed veterinarian, the difference between an anesthetic and a non-anesthetic dental procedure is simply the individual treatment plan designed to meet each pet’s dental needs. In cases where there are medically compromised teeth or gums, a traditional anesthetic dental is appropriate. An anesthetic dental is also used to derive some baseline information through radiographs, and it is necessary periodically, at the discretion of the veterinarian. In younger pets, pets that have mild buildup of tartar (such as in Stage 1 or 2 periodontitis), and pets that need dental care more frequently because they are predisposed to periodontal disease, a professional outpatient preventive dental (POPD) may be more appropriate. There are also instances where the attending veterinarian may not want to anesthetize a medically compromised pet, and they will then use an alternative approach, a POPD, to clean the pet’s teeth.

However, it is important to acknowledge that a POPD or any dental cleaning is a medical procedure and must be performed by a highly trained technician, under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The risk of having your pet’s teeth cleaned by an uneducated layperson with little or no formal training, and outside of a veterinary hospital, could be hazardous and even fatal for your pet. Read about our guidelines.

You wouldn’t go to your barber or hairdresser to get your teeth cleaned would you? Then you should not take your pets to a groomer, pet store, barn feed, etc. to have their teeth cleaned. They deserve the same care you would provide for yourself. Some of the many reasons for you not to have your pet’s teeth cleaned outside of a veterinary hospital:

  • The facility may not be conducive to performing a medical procedure.
  • Non-sterile equipment may be used.
  • There is no medical emergency plan in place to protect your pet outside of a veterinary hospital if an unforeseen medical issue occurs during the procedure.
  • There is no veterinarian on staff performing a medical examination, or prescribing antibiotics if necessary.
  • There is no trained professional performing a complete oral examination and coordinating a treatment plan for your pet.
  • It is illegal! It is unsafe for your pet! There are no second chances when providing quality medical care for your pet.

Find a list of hospitals that provide a true Professional Outpatient Preventive Dental.