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Non-Anesthesia Dental Care
at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital

Dental Care Under General Anesthesia

We would like to avoid anesthesia for dental care on all our patients, but once signs of significant dental disease have occurred a non-anesthetic dental treatment is not appropriate.

When dental care under general anesthesia is necessary we use very safe anesthetic agents and monitor our patients closely during a procedure to minimize any risks. A complete physical exam and pre-anesthetic blood testing further lessen the risk of anesthetic complications. The benefits of oral health to your pet far out generally far outweigh the risk. A dental treatment with general anesthesia generally includes dental radiographs (x-rays), any necessary extractions, and a deep cleaning and polishing of the teeth. It is a much more thorough method of dental treatment than can be accomplished by a non-anesthetic cleaning.

If a program of home care and twice yearly non-anesthetic professional cleanings are started at an early age before onset of significant dental disease it may be possible to avoid anesthesia for dental treatment. In other cases once a dental treatment under anesthesia has been done it may be possible that the next treatment be done without anesthesia if it is done soon afterwards and continued on a repeating basis every 4 to 6 months. The goal is to start early prior to development of advanced dental disease. Once the dental disease is present dental treatment under general anesthesia is advised.


We provide non-anesthesia dental care for cats and dogs by a licensed veterinary technician under the supervision of a veterinarian. The service is a hand scaling and machine polishing of the teeth with recommendations for home care afterwards.

Non-anesthetic Dental Service

Availability—The first two weeks of each month.

Our non-anesthetic dental service is performed by Carmen Canton, LVT of Healthy Pet Dental Care. She is located in New York City and Miami. She spends the first two weeks of each month in New York and performs the service at our hospital. The procedure takes 30 to 60 minutes. The service can be done while you wait or you may leave your pet with us for the day and pick him or her up later, before 8 p.m. on weekdays or 5 p.m. on weekends. Call Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital at (718) 832-3899 to schedule an appointment.

If your pet is not already a patient to Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital we need to examine him or her and look over any previous medical records to be sure he or she is healthy, up to date with vaccinations, and that the non-anesthetic cleaning is appropriate for your pet. The cost of his initial examination by a veterinarian is $65.

Is non-anesthesia dental treatment appropriate for your pet?

Two conditions must be met for a patient to be considered for a non-anesthesia dental cleaning:

  1. The patient must be easily handled and relatively calm in the veterinary environment. An overly anxious animal, or one that tries to bite is not a candidate. Generally dogs are more amenable to non-anesthetic treatment than cats.
  2. The patient must have only a mild to moderate amount of plaque or calculus present without evidence of advanced dental disease.
Candidates for non-anesthetic dental cleaning
Ideal Candidates for non-anesthetic dental cleaning

The ideal candidate for non-anesthetic cleaning is a young patient, often one to three years old, with light buildup of dental plaque or calculus on his or her teeth. The cleanings should be done every 6 months along with a program of home care which includes brushing and dental chews, to try to prevent the progression of dental disease.

Other Candidates for non-anesthetic dental cleaning

An older patient that has had previous dental treatment under general anesthesia and then started on a home care program can benefit greatly from non-anesthetic cleanings every four to six months.

Non-candidates for non-anesthetic dental cleaning.

Aggressive or very anxious patients and patients with evidence of significant dental disease are not candidates. Once signs of significant dental disease have occurred a non-anesthetic dental treatment is not appropriate. Many dogs over the age of 6 years that have not had regular home dental care or have not had twice yearly non-anesthetic cleanings do not qualify for non-anesthetic dental cleaning and will require an initial dental treatment under general anesthesia before future non-anesthetic cleanings can be considered.

If you think your pet may be a candidate please schedule a consultation with one of our veterinarians or discuss it at your regular office visits.

Signs of significant dental disease include, but are not limited to:
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Gingivitis (gum redness or bleeding)
  • Periodontal disease (loose teeth or abscesses)
  • Oral pain
  • Moderate to severe accumulation of dental calculus
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Gum recession or overgrowth.

Home Care

There is a self cleaning property to chewing. The best things for your pet to chew are things that do not cause excessive wear and cannot be chewed up and consumed so fast that it results in gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or diarrhea. It is not rare for us to see dogs that have never had dental treatment, at home or by a veterinarian, to have excellent oral health even when they have reached there geriatric years (10 years +). Invariably these dogs are ones that love to chew everything. If you brush your pets teeth use toothpaste made for dogs or cats. Brushing is also very beneficial to oral health, but not all pets tolerate it.

Your Pet’s Mouth Is the Gateway to Good Health

Having your pet’s teeth cleaned at Animal Kind is an important part of keeping him or her healthy. “Dog breath” isn’t a normal condition but a sign that there are problems. Bacteria in your pet’s mouth can get into the bloodstream and damage organs such as the kidneys, lungs, heart, or liver.

After a cleaning, following up at home is important. We are happy to take the time to make recommendations about products that you can use such as special chews or special diets that help to keep teeth clean and reduce a build-up of tartar, calculus, and bacteria.

Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

There is another important component that you can do at home to keep your pet’s teeth clean and free of bacteria. By using this step-by-step process, your pet can learn to enjoy having his or her teeth brushed.

  • Prepare your pet by rubbing his or her gums every day and reward with a treat. Your pet will learn that this is an activity to look forward to.
  • After a week or so, put some special pet toothpaste on your finger and rub the teeth and gums. Let your pet taste it and give lots of praise.
  • Once your pet has become accustomed to having your finger in his or her mouth, try using the toothbrush with the paste.

Keep at it! Your pet will thank you.