Teeth Cleaning and Anesthesia
All pets, old or young, need to be anesthetized for their teeth to be cleaned properly and safely. Because a dental cleaning requires veterinarians to clean away plaque and tartar under the gum line, your veterinarian will need to have your pet’s mouth open and unmoving for about 30 minutes, depending on the amount of plaque, tartar and any other problems.
For your dog’s safety and comfort, he will need to be under general anesthesia — that is, he will be unconscious throughout the procedure. Dental cleanings performed while your pet is awake is not only dangerous to your pet it also dangerous for the team member performing the cleaning as well. There is some risk associated with any medical procedure, but modern anesthesia is usually safe, even for older pets. Please talk to your veterinarian about any concerns you may have.
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