Originally Posted by huskyluv
All of my dogs and guinea pigs have always had gas anesthesia for any surgery that required them to be "out".
Outside of health related necessity you really shouldn't have to have dentals done if you are keeping their teeth in good shape via proper dental hygiene. Dogs aren't like people where we go in every 6 months for a cleaning. Dogs get dentals only when they need them and preferably you'll want to keep their teeth in good condition so they don't ever need dentals at all. As long as I've had all my dogs they have never needed dentals because I keep their teeth in good condition all along. An ounce of prevention...
This is really good advice. However even with diligent care of a dog's teeth, dentals are sometimes necessary. This has happened with Tango. I rescued him at 7 months, and after he was about a year old, and I became aware of the risks associated with dental problems, began brushing his teeth several times a week. Even so, I noticed tartar building up, and increased his brushings to once a day. Regardless, he needed a dental by the time he was three, and at that point had to have two teeth removed, and one that came out while they were doing the cleaning.
So even when we try as hard as we can, sometimes even that isn't enough. I've gone through my guilt stage about his teeth, but have realized that I'm doing everything I could reasonably be expected to do....regular brushing, excellent food, once a week treatments with the gel that my vet recommended, but in spite of all that, I'm still noticing tartar and plaque beginning to build up again. Chihuahuas tend to have more dental issues than some other breeds, and I guess it's that, plus whatever genetic issues might be at play, that is contributing. I have no clear idea of his history. He was a rescue. There is some indication he was purchased as a puppy from a Pet Store, which typically means that he came from a mill, which will almost guarantee problems. I'm exceedingly thankful that his dental issues seem to be the only health problem he has. He is otherwise very fit and in excellent health.