5 thingsAt Town N Country, questions about cleaning a pet’s teeth come up frequently. Ads for “sedation cleaning” or “sedation dentistry” mislead and confuse pet owners. Trying to clean an animal’s teeth without anesthesia presents many problems, which is why the American Veterinarian Dental Society (AVDS) considers such a procedure malpractice.

Your pet is much better served (and healthier too) when she receives a professional cleaning using anesthesia. Take a look at five things you will not hear during a cleaning at Town N Country.

1. “Just relax, Buster. Now spit.”
When’s the last time your pet spit on command? Aside from prepping your pet for a procedure he truly doesn’t understand, a veterinary hygienist needs to protect the animal’s airway. Keeping debris and fluid out of the lungs of a panicked pet would be impossible without anesthesia. (Think about how many times your mouth was suctioned during your last dental cleaning.)

2. “Raise your right paw if this starts to hurt too much.”
An animal in pain doesn’t react the way humans do. A thorough cleaning means cleaning below the gum line where tartar and bacteria often develop. A sedation cleaning might manage to clean a pet’s teeth above the gum line, making teeth appear whiter; however, very significant problems could still lurk beneath the surface.

3. “Did I tell you that you get a biscuit when this is over?”
A professional cleaning takes time because it does more than clean. The veterinary hygienist’s tasks include charting, radiographs, scaling and polishing the teeth. These tasks would be impossible to perform on an alert, frightened animal, no matter how many reward biscuits you promised.

4. “I do this all the time. Really.”
There’s a good reason American Veterinary Dental Society is waging a war against sedation dentistry. The people who administer this process are often not trained in dentistry or veterinary procedures. For the safety and well-being of your pet, only a licensed veterinarian or a supervised and trained veterinary technician should provide dental services.

5. “OUCH!! $%#@!!!!”
At Town N Country, we’re also concerned for the safety of our staff members. No one wants to have hands inside of an easily roused animal’s mouth or within scratching distance of active paws with claws.

You want the best for your pet – that’s why you ask questions about procedures. At Town N Country, your questions are always welcomed. With a little help, your pet’s good dental health can lead to a long and healthy life.