Consequences of Anesthesia Free Pet Dental Care

Contact Dr. Woodward at Animal Dental Care in Colorado Springs at 719-536-9949 or at wellpets.com

Contact Dr. Woodward at Animal Dental Care in Colorado Springs at 719-536-9949 or at wellpets.com

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.

Dangers of anesthesia free pet dental care

Picture of the left lower side, showing small amounts of calculus (tartar) above the dog’s gum line.

Grooves in dog teeth due improper anesthesia free cleaning

After cleaning the deep grooves are visible on the teeth from the previous anesthesia free cleaning procedure. The teeth had not been properly polished which allowed rapid accumulation of tartar shortly after the last cleaning.

Grooves in dog teeth due improper anesthesia free cleaning

A dental X-ray of the area, showing large amounts of bone loss around the lower first molar, extending almost all the way through the jaw.

Grooves in dog teeth due improper anesthesia free cleaning

Another dental x-ray after extraction, showing the large defect in the jaw with bone graft material placed into the surgery site.

dangers of anesthesia free pet dental care

The left upper side, showing a dental probe placed between the roots from the inside of the dog’s mouth to the outside.

Dangers of anesthesia free pet dental care

Dental X-ray of this area, showing the large areas of bone loss that had gone untreated, resulting in severe infection and loss of the dog’s teeth in this area.