Does Hand Scaling Keep My Cat's Teeth Healthy?

Hand scaling, if recommended and done correctly, can be a useful procedure for removing plaque and tartar from your cat’s teeth, but there are some important things to keep in mind:

  1. Hand scaling is only minimally effective and can only be use for cats with mild to moderate plaque and tartar, no gingivitis and no potential extractions.
  2. Hand scaling is an anesthetic-free procedure, and therefore a possible alternative for elder cats who need some dental care but may have an increased risk of tolerating anesthesia.
  3. Keep in mind there are still risks involved with hand scaling. To do the procedure safely your kitty must tolerate being held while a technician scrapes their teeth with a dental instrument.
  4. Because hand scaling can be stressful for your pet, only a small percentage of cats are candidates.
  5. IMPORTANT: Hand scaling is not as thorough or effective as an ultrasonic cleaning because only the outer area of the teeth can be reached, meaning only half of each tooth is being cleaned!

We hope the above information is helpful. If you have more questions please ask us. Our number one priority at Nob Hill Cat Clinic is to make sure your kitty receives the best medical care possible, and an ultrasonic dental cleaning is by far the best and most effective dental cleaning available. It’s what we recommend and it’s what we do for our own kitties!