We are becoming increasingly aware of some groomers in the surrounding area offering “anaesthetic free dental scale and polish” procedures. This is something that we would never consider doing at Portland Vets and something that we would strongly advise owners against having done elsewhere. There are several reasons why anaesthetic free dental procedures are not safe, effective or fair for an animal:

  • The teeth and mouth cannot be fully assessed whilst the animal is conscious, therefore serious problems such as painful root problems, tooth abscesses or even mouth tumours may be missed
  • In order to thoroughly clean an animal’s teeth, scaling below the gum line must be carried out. This procedure is uncomfortable for the animal (as you will know if you have had your own teeth scaled!), and serious damage could be done if the animal were to move whilst the scaling instrument is below the gum line
  • When scaling teeth,bacteria from the plaque and tartar is introduced into the surrounding air; when we carry out a dental under anaesthetic, we have a tube down the airway connected to fresh oxygen, and a pack at the back of the throat to prevent bacteria getting down into the lungs.
  • Scaling of the teeth can be both uncomfortable and noisy – some animals may react to the fear by freezing and staying still, giving the impression they are tolerating the procedure well, but it may simply introduce a severe phobia of having their mouth examined in the future.

Please see the links below for more information on this – the first is a link to the statement from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons advising against anaesthetic free dental procedures, and the other is a link to the dental section of our website, with our dental handout to give you more information on the dental procedures that we carry out at the practice. Please do contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.