PET OWNERS BEWARE: Non-Professional Anesthesia Free-Teeth Cleaning. Many well intended pet owners are opting for this cosmetic procedure based on costs; however it is impossible to address periodontal disease that affects all surfaces of the teeth, and especially that which is active below the gum-line. When infection is not addressed the owner will be unaware of the low grade dental pain their pet is feeling, until they are unable to eat due to increased oral pain. This ultimately will cost the pet owner more money and the pet will often need many teeth extractions. Please schedule a dental exam with a professional that will assure that these issues are fully addressed and ensure the comfort of your favorite companion. Go to our website to see a dental procedure video at

The AVDC Position: “In the US and Canada, only licensed veterinarians can practice veterinary medicine. Veterinary medicine includes veterinary surgery, medicine and dentistry. Anyone providing dental services other than a licensed veterinarian, or a supervised and trained veterinary technician, is practicing veterinary medicine without a license and shall be subject to criminal charges.”

The AVDC is opposed to this “Anesthesia-Free Dentistry” for the following reasons:
1. Dental Tartar is firmly adhered to the surface of the teeth and requires sharp instruments to remove it. Even slight head movements by the patient could result in injury.
2. Gingival margin or the gum line, the most critical part of a dental scaling procedure is scaling the tooth surfaces that are within the gingival pocket, which is the space between the gum and the root. This is impossible without anesthesia.
3. Anesthesia provides for full cooperation of the patient and eliminates pain, while examining and treating affected dental tissues. While the inhalation anesthesia protects the airway and lungs from accidental aspiration.
4. A complete oral examination without anesthesia prevents us from seeing the teeth facing the tongue and areas of disease and discomfort are likely to be missed.

Just like with human dentistry we can minimize the need for professional dental scaling procedures by maintaining optimal oral health with daily dental home care from an early age. This would include brushing or using other effective techniques to retard accumulation of dental plaque, such as dental diets and chew materials. This combined with periodic examination of the patient by a veterinarian will optimize life-long oral health in our pets..