The perils of anesthesia-free dentistry in pets - DVM
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The perils of anesthesia-free dentistry in pets
Nonprofessional dental scaling misses serious disease below the gum line and can damage teeth


The importance of complete dental care

Photo 5: Anesthesia-free cleaning will provide a false sense of security in cases such as this. The palatal side of the teeth cannot be cleaned properly nor can the extent of the bone damage be assessed without anesthesia. The end result is extraction and proper closure to eliminate the inevitable fistula.
Concerns about anesthesia are issues within both the human and veterinary medical fields. Oral surgical procedures may be extended and rather involved, and, consequently, they require adequate preanesthetic, intraoperative and postoperative management of all vital parameters affecting patients. Veterinary practices that routinely perform dental radiography and probing on all dental patients practice at an advanced level of care. They're also likely to be well-equipped to safely monitor patients and handle any problems they encounter.

Administration of premedications and nerve blocks enables patients to be kept at anesthetic depths consistent with that of a light general anesthesia. This keeps patients close to waking, even when extractions or other invasive procedures are needed, thus maximizing cardiac output and tissue perfusion and maintaining blood pressure.


As illustrated below, NPDS is a cosmetic-only procedure. It hides the true disease that exists below the gum line. It also can be damaging to the tooth and the patient. The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) has released a position on the practice of NPDS (see sidebar).

AVDC Position Statement on NDPS
The best advice is to continue to practice high-quality diagnostic dentistry to ensure your patients have the best oral care available.

The next installment of this series will uncover problems missed with improper evaluation of oral disease during in-hospital cleaning.

Dr. Beckman is acting president of the American Veterinary Dental Society and owns and operates a companion-animal and referral dentistry and oral surgery practice in Punta Gorda, Fla. He sees referrals at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Orlando and at Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Atlanta, lectures internationally and operates the Veterinary Dental Education Center in Punta Gorda.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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