Anesthetic Free Dental Cleanings or Non anesthetic dental cleanings (NADs) are teeth cleans done without anesthesia. This procedure is not supported by the American Veterinary Dental College. It is not an effective means of controlling periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a hidden disease. Many people believe that if the crown of the tooth is white then the teeth and the mouth are healthy. This is not so.
There is a cost to everything - what are the true costs of anesthetic free dental cleanings?
True Costs to Anesthetic Free Dental Cleaning :
You pay for a painful procedure to your pet - well behaved pets allow painful procedures to be done to them.
You allow time for the teeth to fall out.
You are actually paying for the crowns to be cleaned and look nice but no treatment. Only veterinarians are legally allowed to go under the gum line - lay people such as groomers and technicians are not legally licensed to do this as they do not have the training.
Animals hide pain well
If animals did not hide their pain they would lose their place in the hierarchy of their pack - in our pets' cases your family is their pack. Animals also have good manners and will hide their discomfort. It is like you and I - if we feel some pain no one will be able to tell. It is only when we are in severe pain that we show it and we might be cranky when we do. This is true also for our pets - they will hiss or growl or flinch away. If periodontal disease has been going on for a long time the bone support and soft tissue support structures have been destroyed. Sometimes the only thing holding them in place is diseased granulation tissue. When the tooth falls out the battle is lost.
Back to NADs - this is an expensive way of allowing the teeth to fall out. Why? Well it is because to really control periodontal disease you can only do this the way dentists recommend for us humans. Humans brush teeth twice a day and go and see their dentist twice a year for a teeth clean. When you brush your teeth twice a day you are removing most of the bacteria from around your teeth - at the margins and between the teeth. In those hard to reach areas between the teeth you are removing bacteria and food material with the dental floss. Your dental hygienist removes the tartar and plaque that you have missed in the past 6 months. Animals are no different. They need regular brushing - daily - and regular teeth cleans by their veterinarian or veterinary technician under anesthetic. Pets do not allow scaling below the gum line without anesthesia. It is also traumatic to the gums if the pet moves. If extractions are needed these should be done only by the veterinarian. These are painful and require surgery.
The areas missed by a NAD lead to progression of the disease deeper into the bone and soft tissue. It is expensive in the long run. Veterinarians regularly see animals that have had years of NADs which need multiple tooth extractions due to advanced periodontal disease. Advanced gum recession also occurs. Some teeth can be saved using advanced periodontal surgery but there is a cost to this.
Your best approach is...brush your pet's teeth daily and have regular teeth cleans under anesthesia by your veterinarian. This is more effective.