Veterinary Dental Cleaning


Pet Dental Cleaning – Veterinarian Miami FL – Paws and Claws Medical Center

Dental Cleanings !!!
With or without anesthesia….
Did you know that your pet can live up to 4 more years if proper dental care is maintained?
“Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet’s health and the lack of it can often be the cause of serious illness”.
“Dental problems can lead to systemic issues in your pet due to oral bacteria entering the blood stream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver”. It is often overlooked by many pet owners. Unfortunately, it is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop tooth and gum disease by the time they are three years of age.

Dental disease and its serious consequences can be avoided by bringing your pet to your veterinarian for regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings.

Veterinary dental cleanings are very different for pets than they are for pet owners. Because anesthesia is employed to keep your pet still and comfortable during a cleaning, your pet undergoes a complete physical examination and blood work prior to the cleaning, in order to detect any complications that may occur from the use of anesthesia.

It is also important for you to recognize the signs and symptoms of dental problems, which include:

  • Bad breath
  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
  • Loose or missing teeth

This past August, the American Animal Hospital Association made official it’s decision that All AHAA accredited hospitals must sedate, anesthetize and entubate all their patients that are having a dental cleaning performed.
“AAHA’s updated guidelines note that intubation is essential to prevent the aspiration of water and debris during dental procedures. They also state that anesthesia ensures patient health and safety by permitting immobilization without discomfort, periodontal probing, intraoral radiology, and the removal of plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. When anesthesia is used, a trained person is dedicated to continuously monitoring and recording vital parameters, such as body temperature, heart rate and rhythm, respiration, oxygen, blood pressure, according to the guidelines”. (Ken Niedziela, Veterinary Practice News, Aug. 27, 2013)
Furthermore, warming devices must be used to prevent hypothermia and the caudal oral cavity must be suctioned and packed with gauze to prevent aspiration.

Anesthesia-free dental cleanings are a popular choice of pet owners fearful of putting their cat or dog under the control of powerful sedatives.

Anesthesia free advocates state that, while pets with advanced periodontal disease and other complicated conditions are not candidates, anesthesia-free cleanings are the way to go for cats and dogs, with uncomplicated periodontal disease, claiming that some pet owners will go to the extremes and let their pets dental conditions deteriorate to such extremes that their teeth will actually fall, before putting their pets under anesthesia.
It is sadly true that some pets, and also some humans, do have adverse reactions to general anesthesia. Some patients reactions are so severe that they die when anesthetized, even for routine procedures, most of the time without an apparent cause. The truth is that it less that 1% of our patients are the ones that have reactions to anesthetics, and most of the times they do respond well to support therapy.
The American Veterinary Medical Association’s Position on Veterinary Dentistry stops short of requiring the use of anesthesia.

“Sedatives, tranquilizers, anesthetics or analgesics are commonly used during veterinary dental procedures to provide safe restraint and reduce animal stress, pain and suffering,” the policy states.
At Paws and Claws Medical Center, we advocate for the safe use of pain medications, as well as local and general anesthetics, for procedures like dental cleanings. Our only priority is the safety of our patients through the practice of safe high quality veterinary medicine.

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
– Mother Teresa