More and more we are hearing of people advertising ‘anaesthesia-free dentistry’ for pets and we would like to fill you in on why this is doing more harm than good to your beloved fur baby.

If your pet is suffering from dental disease, without an anaesthetic, it is impossible to diagnose and treat dental problems correctly - even in the mildest of cases.

Any dental procedure done without an anaesthetic can have a negative impact on your pet as it is likely to cause your pet unnecessary stress and pain.

The scariest thing is, anaesthesia-free dentistry can potentially mask serious underlying disease and lead to complications in the future. Removing only the calculus that is visible on the tooth (as done in anaesthesia-free dentistry) is purely cosmetic. This technique is ineffective because it does not fix the source of the problem or enable healing and reversal of the dental disease.

When your vet anaesthetises your pet for a dental procedure they are then are able to look for any hidden problems and potential sources of pain. Radiographs can be taken to detect any issues with the roots, and the teeth can be safely probed with special dental instruments - a critical part of a dental procedure. While your pet is asleep, your vet thoroughly cleans their teeth including the area under the gums. It is essential to understand that this cannot be done correctly if your pet is awake.

When it comes to dental health there is no half-way. Good oral health for your pet means a combined effort of home dental care (teeth cleaning, solutions and dental treats) as well as regular checks and possible anaesthetic dental procedures by your vet.