Everything You Need To Know About K9 Grillz Part 1
Posted on Feb 04, 2015 , 0 comments
February is National Pet Dental Health Month and Heathy Spot is proud to work with K9 Grillz. Led by Dr. Christopher Thomas, K9 Grillz offers one of the best non-anesthetic pet teeth cleaning services in the country. In this 3-part interview, Dr. Thomas dishes on the benefits of non-anesthetic teeth cleanings. In this first part, Dr. Thomas talks about the differences in the way K9 Grillz performs a teeth cleaning over traditional anesthetic cleanings, the value of a veterinarian supervising the procedure, and the cases where a traditional anesthetic cleaning is recommended.1. What are the main differences between non-anesthetic vs anesthetic teeth cleanings?
First I guess I have to say that I do not advocate anesthesia free teeth cleaning unless it is performed by K9 Grillz. I say this because unfortunately the field is inundated with people who do not have the proper training or are not operating with specific criteria or standards of care. I started this company to help promote animal welfare and health as well as to protect the animals from this negligence. When done properly and ethically as our company does, I believe we are able to achieve a dental prophylaxis (cleaning) that is equivalent to an anesthetic prophylaxis. We use all of the same equipment including hand instruments - scalers, probes, currettes, Ultra-sonic scalers, and mechanical polishers. Each dental is performed in a clean, quiet, safe environment with properly sterilized instruments and equipment.
2. Many veterinarians believe that non-anesthetic dental cleaning is not as effective as anesthetic dental cleaning. Do you believe this is true?
To put it simply, I agree and disagree. I do understand why a lot of veterinarians do not believe in anesthesia free teeth cleaning because I used to share the same opinion. As I stated previously, there are almost no anesthesia free teeth cleaning services that I know of that are operating legitimately with a combination of appropriately trained staff and consistent direct veterinary supervision. So most veterinarians are seeing the aftermath of illegitimate operators who either do not know how to identify significant dental or periodontal disease or are simply overlooking it in the name of money. In these situations, I agree, these operations are dangerous and should be shut down. Thankfully the California Veterinary Medical Board has recognized these significant problems, have changed regulations and are working to dismantle these businesses. It is a slow task and the board is underfunded for an aggressive approach but I believe that K9 Grillz model is the future and is helping locally with this effort primarily through the education of each individual client we contact and by the thorough care we do provide for the patients.
My opinion wasn't swayed until I saw first hand that anesthesia free teeth cleaning can indeed be performed very effectively when performed on properly screened patient. Anesthetic dentals ARE required for various reasons including but not limited to extractions and advanced periodontal disease. There are absolutely situations that can only be properly addressed under anesthesia. This is why a veterinarian MUST be present to perform a thorough and complete oral and physical examination prior to every anesthesia free teeth cleaning to determine what treatment is best for the individual patient. Anesthesia free teeth cleaning is only effective when an animal has a relatively healthy oral status. In this situation we are basically performing the same procedure as you and I would have done at our dentist, scaling and polishing.
However if we find any conditions that require anesthetic intervention, the animal must first have this properly addressed at their regular veterinarian. Once an anesthetic dental is performed the animal will be re-evaluated at a future date (usually 6 months after) for admittance into our anesthesia free teeth cleaning program.
3. What circumstances would require anesthetic teeth cleaning?
There is a wide variety of dental and periodontal abnormalities that can only properly be resolved with a patient under anesthesia. Some of these reasons include, significantly loose teeth, fractured teeth with pulp exposure, root fractures, severe gingivitis, deep pocketing, severe recession, certain furcations, abscesses, foreign bodies and so on. There are also limiting physical conditions some of which are, cervical spinal pain/disease, respiratory disorders, any condition that is causing physical pain/discomfort i.e. ear infections or severe arthritis etc. There are also animals that behaviorally will not tolerate the procedure or are aggressive. Fortunately we are able to help about 95% of dogs and cats from a behavioral stand point.
For more info about K9 Grillz visit their website or check out their section on HealthySpot.com
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