Lulu has been on ZP, which is air-dried raw, and some brand of freeze-dried raw or frozen raw be it Primal or Stella & Chewy or even Nature's Variety once for the past 2 1/2 years. She has never had a RMB as every time I have tried to give her one she turns her nose up at it, and she has very little if no plaque on her teeth. A diet of freeze dried raw will not cause plaque. Also, I am terrible at brushing her teeth because she doesn't like it, and the vet looks at her teeth every 6 months to a year, and they are always the same.
As far as Vital Essentials, although ZP is air-dried and it is freeze dried, they are similar ingredient-wise. ZP's protein level is 34% and fat is 28% and VE protein level is 52% and fat is 26%. I wish that other raw food feeders would weigh in, but for me personally I am not fond on that level of protein for my own chi as she is not particularly active. That level of protein can cause stomach issues. I'm definitely pro-raw, but I'm not necessarily for the food with the higher protein level for every dog. To be honest though, I'm not thrilled with ZP's fat level, but thankfully Lulu hasn't had any problem with it. For probably the past 6 months, Lulu has eaten ZP in the morning and Primal in the evening. Before that she ate ZP in the morning and Sojos in the evening because even though it is raw the protein and fat levels are low for raw food, and I wanted a balance for her. Hope this helps.