Centers for Oral Care
Animal Dentistry Solutions
A BLOG by DH DeForge, VMD
Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry
Evidence-Based Health Care
Collaborative Multidisciplinary Care
Veterinary dentistry is moving in the same director as human dentistry. Alan H. Gluskin, DDS, Fellow the International College of Dentists and the American College of Dentists states: “It is important for each clinician to recognize the limits of his or her skill and expertise in order to protect patients and provide quality of care.”
Veterinary Medicine, Surgery, and Oral Care information technology are exploding. This disallows the general practitioner’s ability to provide all services to treat all patient problems.
Companion animal dentistry is at the forefront of collaborative multidisciplinary care. Innovations in dental instrumentation; magnification; and digital imaging have helped advance the standards of all veterinary oral care. Because of this, it is increasingly important for the general practitioner and veterinary dentist to collaborate in patient management with the final goals of quality of life without oral pain being their combined mission.
Veterinary Dentists are the extra hand that the generalist needs in complex oral problems. Through the usage of oral x-ray digital diagnostics; pulpal and periodontal diagnostic testing; a differential diagnosis listing; a final diagnosis; and a clear treatment plan and prognosis, the client is able to make an informed decision on the oral care of the pet that they love.
It all comes down to information and education. The X-ray below is a problem in pedodontics. Pedodontics refers to Pediatric dentistry. It is generally defined as the dental care of animals from birth to about 18 months of age in companion animals. At 18 months of age, the permanent dentition has matured and adult dental issues begin. This x-ray is an excellent example of the need for collaborative-multidisciplinary care between generalist and animal dentist. Is the problem causing the pain endodontic; periodontal in nature; or a combination of both? The veterinary dentist has the knowledge to define; diagnose; and set up a treatment plan.
We have reached a time in this New Millennium that promotes high quality oral care for our companions and not just historical exodontia [removal of all and any teeth with pathology]!
That is quite exciting. Now is the time for generalist and dentist to participate in comprehensive patient oral care with an emphasis on saving valuable dentition needed for prehension, mastication, and preparation of food for swallowing. Quality care and cost are the two defining factors that pet advocates struggle with each day. Team care with the generalist and dentist working in tandem [often and with] can conquer both of these obstacles with a more expedient less costly outcome.