Originally Posted by Saeleofu
Will she let you hand-scale them? I got a scaler thingy at Walmart for a couple bucks, and both my dogs have always let me do it (Gavroche let me do it from day 1, surprisingly, given his unknown history). My friend does her doxie's now, too, and he's good as long as there's someone to hold him. It won't get *everything* but it';; get the big chunky nasties off.
The only thing that scares me about that is scaling can create pits, so the teeth may need to be buffed after. The tartar on the visible portions of the teeth are just a cosmetic issue. It would be really hard for an owner to scale as close to the gum line as they should. And if the head is moved at all, the gums can be injured and bacteria introduced. And between the teeth, especially those back molars, would seem almost impossible... And when a dental exam is done under anesthesia, the vet gets a chance to look at the back teeth. To each their own, of course, I've just heard a lot of iffy things about scaling at home, especially on a dog whose teeth are really bad. I think dentals are so important if they seem necessary. Dental disease is pretty serious.