“There is no safe anesthetic…only safe anesthetists!”

All professional veterinary services require that a patient be examined and that a diagnosis be made before any treatment is performed.

In small animal dentistry, veterinary experts agree that a comprehensive oral evaluation can only be performed under general anesthesia.

In equine/large animal dentistry, veterinary experts agree that a comprehensive oral evaluation can only be performed under sedation.

Small Animal Anesthesia

The fear of anesthesia by pet owners is a common, and normal, concern! Those who promote Anesthesia Free Dentistry capitalize upon this fear while performing what most veterinary experts consider to be services that are below the current professional standard of care. Owners are encouraged to consider the following when making the decision of whether the risk of anesthesia is justified:

  • Human dental procedures cause stress and anxiety in many people, even after being educated about the procedure…imagine what most conscious pets experience while being restrained for a “dental cleaning” by an unfamiliar person!
  • The Veterinary Oath and a primary goal of Dentistry is to relieve pain; however, dental procedures such as extractions and periodontal surgery cause temporary discomfort/pain. Anesthesia is defined as “insensitivity to pain,” and veterinary dentists use a combination of general & regional anesthetic techniques as well as analgesics to control operative and postoperative pain.
  • Periodontal disease is defined by bone loss which is measured during the oral examination by probing below the gumline and by taking intraoral dental radiographs…Anesthesia prevents pain during subgingival probing and treatments. It also immobilizes the patient so that diagnostic intraoral radiographs can be taken. Incomplete oral evaluation causes misdiagnosis which allows dental conditions to progress.
  • Chronic periodontal disease often causes or worsens heart, liver, & kidney disease, and these systemic diseases increase the risk of anesthetic complications. Prevention and early diagnosis & treatment of dental disease is associated with lower anesthetic risk, increased treatment success, and lower procedural fees. The systemic sequela to chronic dental disease often become more life threatening then anesthesia, and pets suffer during
  • Only safe anesthetists!  Consider the anesthesia training & experience of the specific veterinarian performing the procedure. While no veterinarian can guarantee the outcome of an anesthetic procedure, most veterinary dentists have experience performing anesthetic procedure on “high risk” patients. At ADCS we are aware of your anesthesia concerns! The anesthetic/analgesic plan is individualized for each patient, and a highly trained assistant or technician is dedicated to monitor each patient!

Equine Sedation & Anesthesia

The expense and complications associated with General Anesthesia in horses can be significant; however, General Anesthesia is rarely indicated for dentistry and oral, maxillofacial, or sinonasal surgery in horses! Horses are very tolerant of major head surgery under Standing Sedation & Regional Anesthesia. At ADCS we routinely perform equine surgeries under standing sedation and only recommend General Anesthesia for behaviorally uncontrollable patients that pose a danger to themselves and our team!