Is Dental Anesthesia Safe?
  • Putting off a dental treatment because of dental anesthesia fear guarantees that your pet will continue to suffer silently with dental pain and infection.

  • Thanks to ongoing advancements in medicine, surgery, and technology, dental anesthesia has never been safer.

  • Your veterinarian will be happy to help you understand the risks of dental anesthesia and the benefits of dental treatment for your pet.

How To Maximize Safety Before, During, and After Anesthesia

Your veterinarian will do a complete physical exam of your pet, review your pet’s medical history, and then order lab tests based on the findings. This is a good time to to talk about things that worry you and ask questions.

Just like in people, lab tests show your veterinarian what is happening inside your pet and help your veterinarian choose the safest dental anesthesia for your pet.

The hospital will give you written instructions on what to do, such as fasting your pet the night before.

Fast your pet the night before dental anesthesia;
water is OK.

If any medications are dispensed, follow instructions on when to start them.

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Your veterinarian controls the dental anesthesia, making choices such as rate of IV fluid flow and drug dosages, based on the recorded vital signs and on direct examination of your pet.

The veterinary technician records vital signs from the anesthetic monitors every 5 minutes and also records more data from constant observation of your pet.

Specialized devices called anesthetic monitors report in real time what is happening inside patients so your veterinarian can adjust dental anesthesia as needed.

An Anesthetic Monitor by LifeWindow™

Heart Rate

Respiratory Rate


Blood Pressure

Oxygen in Blood

Exhaled CO2

Inhaled CO2


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Your pet recovers from dental anesthesia under close observation by your veterinarian and trained hospital staff.

Written instructions and sometimes medications for your pet will be sent home with you.

Usually pets go home the same day of their dental treatment. 

If any medications are sent home, follow instructions on when to start them.

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Is Dental Anesthesia Safe For My Pet?

Five Things to Know About
Dental Anesthesia
  1. An experienced veterinarian with a well trained staff, a thorough physical exam by the doctor, all recommended lab tests, and appropriate anesthetic drugs and monitoring equipment are essential to maximize anesthetic safety.
  2. Patients must have an IV line placed so fluids and medications can be given during and after anesthesia.
  3. A recent study showed that about half of anesthetic deaths happen during the first 3 hours after the patient wakes up (, so patients must be closely watched during this time.
  4. Patients with existing disease, such as heart, lung, or kidney problems, and “flat-faced” breeds such as Pugs and Persians are at higher risk of developing problems during anesthesia.
  5. A Board Certified Veterinary Anesthesiologist ( may be available to perform the anesthesia or to consult with your veterinarian.
Five Things to Ask About
Dental Anesthesia
  1. Doctor, are you directly responsible for running the anesthesia and what training do other involved staff members have?

  2. Doctor, what kind of lab tests does my pet need and does my pet have any medical conditions that can cause problems with anesthesia?

  3. Doctor, I understand that a written record is updated every 5 minutes during anesthesia. Who will write that record?

  4. Doctor, I understand that monitoring vital signs both during and at least 3 hours after anesthesia is very important. What vital signs will be monitored and who will do it?

  5. Doctor, I don’t want my pet to be in pain. How will you make sure my pet won’t feel any pain?

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