Dog Dental Cleaning Without Anesthesia

Dental hygiene is important not only for humans but also for dogs. Veterinarians will tell you a dog’s dental health is a significant aspect of their overall health, and taking care of their teeth and gums is essential, especially for older dogs. Unfortunately, many pet parents avoid getting their dog's teeth cleaned because of the fear of putting them under general anesthesia. However, there is an alternative method of dog dental cleaning without anesthesia that can be effective in removing tartar and keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.

What is Dog Dental Cleaning Without Anesthesia?

A non-anesthetic dog dental procedure is a process that involves cleaning your pet’s teeth without the use of anesthesia. The cleaning process involves manually scraping and cleaning the teeth using specialized tools and an ultrasonic scaler, similar to the dental cleaning we receive at the dentist. This process is performed on conscious dogs that are gently restrained during the cleaning. The cleaning process may take slightly longer than a traditional dental cleaning under anesthesia because the dog must be calm and cooperative during the procedure.

Anesthesia-free dental cleanings

Anesthesia-free is particularly suitable for old dogs, dogs with underlying health conditions that make anesthesia risky, and dogs with mild to moderate dental disease. The non-anesthetic dental procedure is a safe and painless option for your furry friend, and it can also be less expensive than traditional dental cleanings under anesthesia. If you want this type of cleaning for your furry friend, most vets recommend doing it twice a year.

If you desire a thorough cleaning, receiving one without anesthesia is possible. However, dogs who struggle with tartar buildup may require a dental cleaning under anesthesia once a year.

Why is Dog Dental Cleaning Important?

Caring for a dog's dental hygiene is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Dental disease in dogs is prevalent and can cause significant pain and discomfort. Poor dental hygiene can lead to bacteria and plaque buildup, which can cause gum inflammation, bad breath, and even tooth loss. Dental disease can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, leading to more severe health problems.

Regular teeth cleanings can help prevent these issues and keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy. Ideally, dogs should have their teeth cleaned every six to twelve months, depending on their dental health and age. Regular cleanings can assist in identifying and treating dental issues early, preventing more severe health problems in the future.

Benefits of Non-Anesthetic Dog Teeth Cleaning

Non-anesthetic teeth cleaning is a safe and effective way to keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy. The following are some of the benefits of non-anesthetic teeth cleaning for dogs:

Safe and Painless

Anesthesia-free dental cleaning is a safe and painless option for your furry friend. The procedure is performed on conscious dogs, and the cleaner uses gentle restraint techniques to ensure the dog is comfortable throughout the cleaning process. Non-anesthetic dental cleaning is particularly suitable for elder dogs, dogs with underlying health conditions that make anesthesia risky, and dogs with mild to moderate dental disease.

During the cleaning, your veterinarian will remove plaque and tartar from your dog's teeth using special scale tools. They will also clean your dog's gums to remove any bacteria or debris that may be present.


A non-anesthetic dental cleaning can be a cost-effective option for pet owners. Anesthesia-free cleanings can be less expensive than traditional teeth cleaning under anesthesia. In addition, regular non-anesthetic cleanings can aid in preventing more severe dental issues that may require more extensive treatment, saving pet owners money in the long run.

Improved Quality of Life

Dental disease can cause significant pain and discomfort for dogs, affecting their overall quality of life. A Non-anesthetic dental procedure can assist in preventing dental disease and keep your dog’s teeth healthy, improving their overall well-being.

It Can Be Performed More Frequently

Traditional teeth cleaning under anesthesia may require several days of recovery time, during which the dog may be unable to eat or drink normally. Non-anesthetic dental cleaning is less invasive, and the dog can resume normal activities immediately after the cleaning. This means that non-anesthetic cleanings can be performed more frequently, helping to maintain your dog's dental health.

Suitable for Dogs with Health Issues

Anesthesia can be risky for dogs with underlying health conditions, such as heart, liver, or kidney disease. Non-anesthetic dental cleaning is a safe and viable option for these dogs, helping to prevent dental disease without putting them at risk.

How to Prepare for Non-Anesthetic Dog Dental Cleaning

Before scheduling dental cleaning without anesthesia for your dog, there are a few things you can do to prepare. These include:

Brushing Your Dog's Teeth Regularly

Regular brushing can prevent bacteria and tartar buildup and keep your dog’s teeth clean between dental cleanings. You can use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed specifically for dogs.

Getting a Pre-Cleaning Exam

Before the cleaning, your dog should undergo a pre-cleaning exam to evaluate their dental health and identify any underlying issues. This exam can determine if anesthesia-free teeth cleaning is the right choice for your dog.

Have Your Dog Fast Before Cleaning

Your dog should not eat or drink for at least 12 hours before the cleaning. This will reduce the risk of aspiration during the cleaning process.

Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost

The cost of dog teeth cleaning, with or without anesthesia, is not standardized. It varies based on several factors, such as the extent of veterinary dental services provided to your dog, your dog's age, and size.

During a dog dental cleaning, your veterinary dentist may discover additional health issues that require attention. Should an extraction be necessary, it can impact the overall cost of your dog's medical bill.

To keep dental expenses low, it's advisable to take preventative measures by scheduling cleaning services every year. This not only safeguards your dog's dental health but also saves you from unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.

Thorough Exam With X-Rays

A Phoenix vet will base your dog's cleaning needs based on their specific needs. However, most vets perform the following steps during a typical cleaning.

  • Review the anesthetic consent form and doctor recommendations and dangers for your pet about general anesthesia.
  • Conduct a physical examination of your pet.
  • Take before and after photos of your pet’s oral status.
  • Remove any tartar or plaque above or below the gum line.
  • Look for signs of infection or evidence of periodontal disease.
  • Identify any abnormal findings and recommend treatment options.
  • Take dental X-rays.
  • And more!

Discussing Any Health Concerns with Your Veterinarian

If your dog has any underlying health conditions, it is essential to discuss them with your veterinarian before scheduling your dog's teeth cleaning. Veterinarians may recommend additional testing or precautions to ensure your dog's safety during the cleaning.

Anesthesia-free teeth cleanings are a safe and effective way to maintain your dog's dental health. It is a suitable option for dogs with mild to moderate dental disease, elder dogs, and dogs with underlying health conditions that make anesthesia risky. Regular dental cleanings can prevent dental disease, improve your dog’s overall health and quality of life, and save pet owners money in the long run. Before scheduling a dental cleaning for your dog without anesthesia, discussing your dog's dental health with your veterinarian and preparing appropriately for the cleaning is essential. By taking care of your dog’s teeth and gums, you can ensure their overall health and well-being.

Contact Phoenix Veterinary Center Today

To learn more about dog teeth cleaning in Phoenix, contact us today to make an appointment for your doggo, or give us a call at (602) 559-5500. Please review our Newsletter Library and Video Newsroom to learn how to create a healthy, happy life for your pet.


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