The recent trend of groomers, pet stores and sometimes vets, offering what are referred to as “anesthesia free pet dental cleanings” is of great concern to the veterinary community. These seemingly cheap procedures, which veterinary dentists refer to as “Non-Anesthetic Dentals (NAD)”, are quite appealing to the average pet owner who think they sound like a good option.
The truth is, anesthesia free pet dental cleanings are of no benefit to a dog or cat’s oral health, and in fact result in even higher risk of a pet developing painful periodontal disease under the gum line, where an owner will not recognize a problem until it is too late. Essentially these providers prey on well meaning pet owners who think their pet is getting a dental cleaning, when in reality, they are merely scaling (scraping) the visible portion of the animal’s teeth.
With the increase of the anesthesia free dental cleanings, veterinary dentists are now seeing an increase of animals in our practices, after a number of years of these cleanings, who now have severe periodontal disease requiring extensive and expensive treatment. Because of this trend, the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) is working to educate the public about these procedures and help them better understand their pet’s oral health needs. They have recently launched a new website with excellent information and facts to help pet owners make an informed choice about their pet’s dental health and annual dental cleanings. We encourage you to visit this site to learn more about anesthesia free dental cleanings.