Oral disease is one of the most prevalent diseases in dogs and cats, and it is also the most preventable disease. This five-session course will be a basic refresher on veterinary dentistry. The lessons will help improve your understanding of oral anatomy and the disease process, performing and charting a thorough oral examination, recognizing common oral pathology, the importance of maintaining dental equipment and discussing effective home care options with pet owners.
Lesson 1: Building A Thriving Dental Practice
Over 80% of adult dogs and cats have some form of oral disease. Is your practice currently performing dental procedures on that percentage of your patients? Learn ways to explain and communicate the importance of good oral health to your clients and to take dentistry to the next level in your practice and fill those tables!
1. Discuss the prevalence of Periodontal Disease
2. How to get the team onboard
3. Educate clients about periodontal disease
4. Engage clients to gain dental compliance
Lesson 2: Dental Equipment, Use and Maintenance
As with any project using the correct and well-maintained tools make the job easier. The same can be said for veterinary dentistry. There is a multitude of equipment available but knowing exactly what is necessary to a well-equipped dental suite, and how to maintain the equipment to ensure a long, productive life of the instrument and your team is important.
1. Determine what equipment is necessary to have a well-equipped dental operator
2. Learn how to maintain equipment
3. Realize when it may be best to replace equipment
4. Understand how each piece of equipment should be used
Lesson 3: Oral Anatomy and Charting
It is important to be understand the anatomy of the oral cavity to better identify oral pathology and anomalies. It is equally important to correctly record the pathology on dental charts. A thorough dental examination includes both conscious and anesthetized examinations as well as charting disease processes, pathology and anomalies, and treatment plans. Why is dental charting important? A dental chart is a diagrammatic representation of the dentition where information can be entered in a pictorial and/or notation format. It allows you to keep a record of the patient’s oral health, track changes in oral health and record treatment. A dental chart is also a legal document.
1. Learn to identify specific tooth anatomy
2. Understand the accepted numbering system
3. Recognize normal findings from abnormal upon oral examinations
4. Understand the common indices that should be evaluated on each tooth in the oral cavity
5. Learn to correctly document findings
Lesson 4: Common Oral Pathology
It is important to be able to recognize and identify oral pathology and anomalies. The most observed abnormalities will be discussed in this presentation. It is equally important to correctly record the pathology on dental charts. A thorough dental examination includes both conscious and anesthetized examinations as well as charting disease processes, pathology and anomalies, and treatment plans
1. Understand the risks, causes and disease process of periodontal disease
2. Learn to recognize commonly found pathology of the oral cavity of dogs and cats
3. Understand how oral pathology should be documented on the dental chart
Lesson 5: The Discharge Appointment and Home Dental Care
The procedure does not end when the patient wakes up from anesthesia. As veterinary health professionals, it is our job not only to educate our clients about the importance of good oral health, perform quality dental procedures but also to ensure the client understands the need for home care. A dental discharge appointment is an excellent way to demonstrate to the client the amount of emphasis your team puts on good oral health. Oral care procedures and products designed to cleanse the oral cavity will be discussed for safety and efficacy.
1. Recognize the need for a dental discharge appointment
2. Learn techniques to properly advocate for home care for patients
3. Learn how to discuss and recommend home care techniques and products
4. Understand the basic science behind home care products and how products should be used effectively