Dental Treatment – Why the General Anaesthetic?

So, your pet has been diagnosed with dental disease, and now you face the conundrum- should I take them for a full anaesthetic and dental treatment? Or should I just try to manage the disease without an anaesthetic?

For many people, the prospect of anesthetising their pet can be very scary as there is a degree of risk involved – believe us, we understand – we are pet parents too!

However, if a dental has been recommended, then the risks of the procedure are far outweighed by the benefits to your pet’s quality of life.

In the short-term, dental disease can cause your pet a great deal of pain and distress. If you have ever had a toothache before, I’m sure you can understand how sore it would feel if it were never fixed!

In the long term, dental disease can seed into the body and damage your pet’s organs.

But why do they need to be anesthetised for dental treatment?

If you have found it difficult to brush your pet’s teeth before then you may already know the answer to this question.

During a dental we assess your pet’s dental disease (by closely examining and probing any suspicious areas) and decide whether or not extractions need to be made.

We also use tools to scale the tartar and bacteria off such as an ultrasonic scaler and we polish the teeth – just like a human dentist.

Scaling and polishing are both essential to prevent more bacteria from sticking to the teeth.

All of these procedures can be painful to your pet, particularly if they have dental disease. Having a pet anesthetised means this process is not stressful to them and allows us to perform the procedure more thoroughly.

While there is always a risk when undergoing a general anaesthetic, we work hard to manage this risk.

Before the procedure, we offer a screening blood test which looks at your pet’s organ health, specifically the organs that help to process the anaesthetic. This allows us to alter our anaesthetic plan or decide against the procedure if there is too much risk.

During the procedure, a vet nurse is on hand to monitor your pet closely, and they are constantly alerting the veterinary surgeon to the pet’s status under the anaesthetic.

Meanwhile, the vet is working efficiently and carefully to correct your pet’s dental disease.

For a more in depth understanding of why dental disease is detrimental to your pet’s health, check out my earlier blog post on the effects of dental disease.

If you have any questions about dental disease or dental procedures, don’t hesitate to call us or pop in and remember we are offering a half price offer for a scale and polish of your pet’s teeth this March.

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