Sorry, MacPac, but every single vet school and research says the awake cleaning is not enough. Not going to overwhelm you with links but if my vet even offered such after all I have read and that they darned well should KNOW, I would be asking about another vet or taking them information to educate them. Cosmetic cleaning doesn't cut it.
UCDavis:::: Additionally, it is impossible to do a thorough cleaning with your pet awake. … may be able to remove the obvious superficial calculus from your pet's teeth, but he/she cannot get under the gums, where the cleaning is needed. We have seen many pets with 'clean' teeth that need to have many extractions because the underlying periodontal disease was not fully addressed.
From the American Veterinary Dental College
:::::Every professional dental cleaning starts with a review of the patient’s general health and any previous dental history. For a thorough, safe dental cleaning in veterinary patients, anesthesia is essential, as this permits a comprehensive assessment of the tissues, allows dental radiographs to be made when indicated, followed by the cleaning (scaling and polishing procedure) itself. So-called “anesthesia-free dental scaling” is not recommended by AVDC.::::::::::::
So, really, pay more, get it done right. Or with young dogs do a real cleaning every 2 yrs at least.
The good news on tooth brushing is that after hours of searching (my dog has CUPS so we brush daily, have dental cleaning every 3 mos, and she is on steroids every 3 days, still gets some spots and needs antibiotics about every 4 or 5 mos ) – you don't have to brush like your own and you don't need to do it for 2 or 3 mins to do the job. The outer cheek side is what is critical, some on the tops, but you just need to disrupt plaque and the brushing alone does that. Yeah, some of the products do help, but not that much. I have four different types, lol, all with the sodium hexawhatever in them, mostly for taste and variety. But you don't have to have it.
They said nearly 70 percent of dogs have gum/tooth issues by the age of 3 if their teeth are not regularly brushed. So I plan to have Cara's cleaned in Feb when she turns 3 even though I do brush hers a few times a week. Back when I fed raw, I never had a dog who lost a tooth, had bad breathe or needed teeth cleaned. Ever. Sigh. But even if Arwen could have raw, with her autoimmune problem, I'd still be brushing.
As for Plaque Off, it's cheap, won't hurt. But again, the company's OWN research says works 5 wks and then the plaque increases again. Unlike owners who really can't scientifically examine plaque amts, when they actually test and KNOW it doesn't keep helping, I'd rather use my money on something that does (like my 8 different tooth brushes so I am sure I get different effects-- lol can you tell how desperate this situation makes me?) I tried 2 bottles, didn't help at all for me.