Non-Anesthetic Dental Cleaning for Dogs

Updated April 17, 2017

Good oral hygiene is essential for the well-being of your dog, as like humans, dogs experience tartar build-up on their teeth. If left unattended, the tartar leads to dental problems like gingivitis, pyorrhoea, bad breath and tooth loss. Even worse, the unhealthy bacteria can enter your dog's blood stream, weaken its immune system and cause heart disease and other chronic disorders. Anesthetic dental cleaning is common for cleaning a dog's teeth. However, you may prefer a non-anesthetic dental cleaning, as it is a less risky and low-cost option compared to anaesthesia.


Non-anesthetic dental cleaning is free from the various side effects that anesthetic dental cleaning poses, including nausea, prolonged grogginess and even death that can occur in some dogs. Anesthetic dental procedures are inconsiderate to the dog's individual dental requirements, based on its age, health and lifestyle conditions. According to the Animal Dental Care website, non-anesthetic dental cleaning is a safe alternative for older dogs and dogs suffering from chronic illnesses, like kidney, liver and heart diseases, that are not ideal candidates for general anesthetic treatments.


A trained dental hygienist begins the procedure with intuitive techniques, to gently coax your dog in preparation for the non-anesthetic dental cleaning. By positioning himself at eye level with the dog, the hygienist uses a hand-held tool to remove the hard, scaly plaque from both above and below the gum line. He then polishes your dog's teeth, brushes it and applies an antiseptic wash.


Sometimes a dog's feisty and uncooperative temperament may not be conducive for a non-anesthetic dental procedure. The K9 Loft website states that a trained and experienced non-anesthetic dental professional can, at the start of the procedure, ascertain whether a dog's temperament will allow for a successful a non-anesthetic dental cleaning. If the dog cannot be brought under control, alternative dental treatment options are recommended.


Non-anesthetic dental cleaning cannot be performed on dogs suffering from dental problems like severe gingivitis, caries, fractured teeth or stomatitis. If a fractured or loose tooth, gum disease, tumours, abscess or any dental condition requiring veterinary intervention is discovered at the start of the procedure, the non-anesthetic dental cleaning will not be used on your dog.


Dogs over 3 years of age should undergo a thorough non-anesthetic dental cleaning every four to 12 months. A healthy diet, the age of your dog and its breed determine its overall dental health. Your dog's non-anesthetic dental cleaning should not be a substitute for regular dental check-ups that include dental X-rays at your veterinarian.

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