February 12, 2021
In the veterinary world, February has been long regarded as National Pet Dental Health Month. With many practices scheduling appointments and surgeries weeks in advance, there’s no doubt it looks a bit different this year but, nevertheless, focusing on dental health is a great way to promote dental services and educate clients about their pets’ oral hygiene.
In fact, even within the veterinary field, our understanding of dental health is always improving. Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned throughout the years:
- Dental disease can impact other organs and systems in the body which is why we’ve become more proactive about recommending dental procedures - and not just when we spy a visibly infected tooth.
- X-rays have risen in popularity as a valuable diagnostic tool because up to 70% of dental pathology is invisible to the naked eye.
- Dental x-rays and dental stations are now standard at most practices, so if you don’t currently have all the veterinary dental equipment and instruments you need to aid you in performing dental work, we’re happy to help you obtain them.
- In some states, dental extractions are considered surgical procedures meaning that the veterinarian performing the procedure must do so in that state.
- Over time, dental cleanings in pets have evolved to include full mouth radiographs, an oral health assessment, a deep cleaning, and extractions if necessary; the biggest difference between a dental cleaning for a pet and a person is that a pet requires anesthesia while a person doesn’t.
- Because pet dental cleanings have become so comprehensive, some practices have ditched the dental label in favor of “Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment & Treatment” or COHAT.
Maybe someday our practices will solve the mysteries of oral resorptive lesions and how to get pet owners to brush their pets’ teeth regularly but, until then, we know that their patients are in good hands with our team members looking out for their dental health.
If you’re interested in furthering your education in dentistry, there are a number of educational and training resources available. If you’re a member of the VetCor family, don’t hesitate to reach out to your hospital manager, Chief of Staff, regional manager, or Chief of Staff Adviser if you’re in need of some direction. And remember, you can also email the TechLife group at firstname.lastname@example.org.