Anesthesia Free Dental Cleaning: The Facts

By Dr. Audra MacCorkle, Wellness Director – Beverly Hills

Anesthesia Free Dental Cleaning, or Non-Anesthetic Dental Cleaning – is quite an impressive term, and a slightly scary one at that. But, it shouldn’t be. It’s safe, relaxing and the preferred dental cleaning method for our canine and feline family members.

To shed a little light and put your mind at ease, let’s look at the facts and importance of regular dental maintenance:

  • A proper dental cleaning consists of a dental exam with a charting of the findings, as well as dental scaling which includes scaling beneath the gum line, and a dental polishing.  

  • A complete dental cleaning is not only possible without anesthesia or sedation but is in fact preferred, as it spares patients the trauma of anesthesia, as well as from the potential damage to their kidneys and liver from the drugs used to sedate, and damage to the throat from an endotracheal tube.

  • Regular cleanings are important for overall pet health and wellness. While I recommend dental cleanings from twice monthly to once a year, check with your pet healthcare provider to determine what’s best for your pet.

While one may think that anesthesia would be preferred to ease ones nerves, not so. And, as with humans, anesthesia always carries heavy risks, even in a supposedly healthy individual because blood flow to the liver and kidneys is changed during anesthesia, and often times there may be mild underlying kidney or heart disease that has not yet been detected which can be exacerbated by the cardiovascular conditions of anesthesia.

In my practice I have found that 99% of my patients can have a smooth, relaxed, non-anesthetic dental cleaning to keep up with their health and wellness regime – and I reserve the recommendation for anesthesia for emergency situations and unavoidable diagnostics such as an MRI.

Have other questions about anesthesia free dental cleaning? Leave a comment ( and I will write you back!