Are Dog Dental Procedures Safe?

A veterinarian shows a woman how to safely brush her Dachshund's teeth.

Your dog is reliant on his teeth for a number of reasons. Not only does he need them to bite and chew his food, they also enable him to pick up toys and other objects and move them around. His teeth are also a form of self-defence and whilst you would hope that he would never need to rely on them, they are useful as a show of force to any threats that he might face, and he would feel very vulnerable without them.

As such, dental care is just as important for your canine companion as it is for the human members of your family. While cavities in dogs are fairly rare due their diet containing far less sugar than our own, they are at particularly high risk of developing periodontal disease. Just like gum disease in humans, pet periodontal disease occurs when plaque from the teeth spreads on to the soft tissue of the gum, causing inflammation and irritation. Unless treated fairly promptly, it can then progress to causing infection, abscesses and dental pain, tooth loss and more. In humans, periodontal disease has shown to be a common factor among patients with serious health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and more and there is no reason to think that the same dangers might not apply to our dogs.

There are several things that we can do at home to help take care of our dog’s teeth and reduce their risk of dental problems, including regular brushing and offering chew toys and dental sticks. Nevertheless, professional dental care provided by a veterinarian is still strongly recommended for all dogs regardless of their age.

What professional dental care is available for dogs?

Most veterinarians provide the same dental care to dogs that your own dentist would provide for you. This will range from a regular check-up to monitor the health and condition of your dog’s teeth and mouth to invasive treatments such as dealing with stomatitis or tooth extraction. Our veterinarian will be able to advise you what care your dog needs at each of his appointments.

Is it safe to carry out dental procedures on dogs?

As caring owners, we all want to make sure that our dogs are healthy, but we also worry about their safety. Knowing what dental procedures can be like for us as humans, it is understandable that you may have some reservations about the same types of treatment being given to your dog. Your canine pal will not have the ability to understand the necessity of dental treatment, nor the importance of remaining still during each appointment. Even the smartest and most well-behaved dog may not be able to comply with instructions that are essential to keep him safe. It is for these reasons that the majority of veterinarians insist that pet dental procedures are carried out while your pet is under the effects of a general anesthetic.

How does general anesthetic help in a doggy dental procedure?

Using a general anesthetic will ensure that your dog is kept motionless and free of pain throughout his procedure. The first is particularly important since many of the tools and techniques performed as part of dental treatment are sharp or could potentially cause injury if your furbaby were to move suddenly. Many dogs find visits to the veterinarian stressful and undergoing a procedure while being completely conscious could compound the anxiety and fear that your dog feels. Instead, you can relax knowing that your canine pal is fast asleep and has no awareness of what is going on.

Although there some risks involved in the use of general anesthetic, experts agree that these are far outweighed by the benefits of performing dental treatment in this way. Not only are the procedures themselves far safer but preserving your dog’s dental health is essential for his long-term wellbeing. You can also rest assured that any good veterinarian will ensure that your precious pet is properly monitored throughout the process to ensure that he remains suitably and safely anesthetized and all risks are kept to an absolute minimum.

If you have any further questions about dog dental procedures using general anesthetic, our knowledgeable team would be delighted to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience.