I'd probably go with my vets opinion if I trusted him/her (and if I didn't, I'd be finding a new vet!)....I'm no expert and want to do what is best for my dog, but will be interested to see reactions on here.
I am going to ask the vet when she goes in for shots in a few weeks, but how often should young dogs receive dental care? My girl is only 3 and had no problems with teeth as of her most recent physical.
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The "Doggie Dentist" is cosmetic only. A friend of mine used them, until her dog (with pearly white teeth) turned up with three abscessed teeth that needed removal by the vet.
Best thing you can do is brush your dog's teeth daily. You can even teach your dog to accept an electric toothbrush to make the job easier - I kid you not. My vet recommends a child's toothbrush to start and just train slowly, like you do for nail clipping. She has middle-aged Cavaliers that have never needed a full dental.
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From what I've read, the non-sedation approach is not really a cleaning but a brushing. Which makes sense to me. When I'm at the dentist for a cleaning, even though a cleaning isn't too intrusive, there are still a few moments where I'm uncomfortable or in pain (very slight, true, but still a bit of ouch). I can't imagine it's possible to do that to a dog safely, considering the location
My Italian greyhound gets his teeth brushed almost daily (he LOVES the toothpaste, so he doesn't mind the brushing at all). That said, I kept missing the same spot or two, so he just had an anesthetized cleaning last week where they could clean under the gumline like they do for people (and what non-anesthesia "dentals" fail to do). The dr also showed me the spots I was missing and tips to help reach those spots when brushing.
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Thanks for the input.
I do "brush" their teeth about once a week. Not sure how effective the brushing part is since they like the doggie toothpaste so much they try to chew on the brush. I just hope the enzymes do their thing. So far they are doing well at nearly 4 years old!
It depends if you just want a hand scaling, or a power scaling. NEVER do a power scaling without full anesthetic/intubation with a well inflated cuff. Any debris and water that gets flushed down the trachea can cause aspiration pnemonia and could lead to death.
I have hand scaled under sedation (basically just cracking the calculus off and brushing) for older dogs, but if the teeth are particularly bad, need a polish or any extractions or you actually need a real dental exam - a full anesthetic with proper monitoring and preventive care is always required. I would never use a vet clinic who did power scaling/polishing under sedation only.