Jan Bellows, DVM, DAVDC, DABVP, FAVD
Halitosis, malpositioned teeth, oral tumours, fractured teeth, oral ulcers, swellings under the eyes—what to do? For many veterinarians, treatment is the most challenging aspect of dentistry due to the needs for client consent, specialised equipment, time and training.
It’s often simpler to overlook dental pathology—but it’s not right for the patient, client or practice. We became veterinarians to relieve suffering, and providing dental therapy followed by prevention ensures the best for our patients. In addition, seeing our patients’ lives improve and sharing the bliss of their owners’ appreciation contributes to the joy of veterinary dentistry.
A straightforward approach to dental treatment is well within the scope of general veterinary practice. Most dental therapy strategies fall into one of four buckets, or the four Rs: Recheck, remove, repair or refer.
Let’s look at each of these in turn.