Recently Colorado veterinary dental specialist Dr. Tony Woodward cared for a middle-aged dog who’d had multiple anesthesia free pet dental cleanings over the last few years in place of professional veterinary dental care. The dog’s teeth did not look very bad and the patient was actually referred to Animal Dental Care in Colorado for another dental problem, not a cleaning. Because the dog’s teeth appeared fairly clean to the owner, they were under the impression that the anesthesia free cleanings had been working well, which unfortunately wasn’t the case. What lurked beneath this dog’s gumline is a clear example of the long-term consequences dogs and owners face when falling prey to the myths of anesthesia free pet dental care.
After full examination including dental radiographs, the problems were evident and resulted in extraction of 16 teeth that were not treatable, due to long-term infection that had gone undetected during the anesthesia-free cleaning procedures. These abscessed teeth were not loose, so a lay person merely scaling the teeth would have never known there was a problem. However, had this dog been taken in for a proper dental cleaning with safe anesthesia and dental x-rays, the areas of severe bone loss and infection could have been treated much earlier and possibly even prevented. In other words, these teeth could have been saved with proper care.
Below are photos and x-rays detailing the case and demonstrating the damage resulting from the anesthesia free teeth cleanings.