Vet360 Vet360 Vol 05 Issue 03 - Page 25

DENTISTRY lie below the gum line. Intraoral radiographs are essential to help you evaluate these areas (Figures 3A-3D). 8. Say no to technician extractions Some state practice acts allow technicians to extract teeth; however, veterinarians are the only professionals allowed to perform animal surgery. Surgery is defined as opening a body part to treat disease using instruments. Operative dentistry is surgery. Our veterinary degrees specify veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry, and we have the most knowledge and experience regarding our patients’ anatomy and physiology and how their tissues react to surgery. None of us would allow a human dental assistant or hygienist to extract our teeth. Why should it be different for veterinary patients? 9. Say no to unsterilized and dull instruments Figure 3A. Seemingly normal incisors in a canine patient. Can you imagine your dentist opening up a drawer and rummaging through the instruments inside before dipping them in cold sterile solution to extract your tooth? Sterilized packs for diagnostics (periodontal probe, mirror and curette), extractions (separate packs for feline and small, medium and large dogs) and oral surgery make great sense. To increase efficiency, keep all of the instruments you need for a specific procedure together in one sterile pouch or cassette. Charging a “sterile surgical pack fee” easily covers the expense of additional instruments and sterilization. Your instruments need to be sharp, too. Before sterilization, sharpen your curettes and your wing- tipped and periosteal elevators with an oiled sharpening stone (Figures 4A-4D). Figure 3B. Enlarged root canal and periapical lucency consistent with a nonvital tooth in the canine patient from Figure 3A; root canal therapy or extraction is indicated. Figure 3C. Advanced periodontal disease in the canine patient from Figure 3A affecting the apices of the right maxillary fourth premolar and the first and second molars; extractions indicated. Figure 3D. Advanced periodontal disease in the canine patient from 3A affecting the left mandibular fourth premolar and second and third molars; extractions indicated. Stage 3 periodontal disease affecting the left mandibular first molar; root planing coupled with home care or extraction indicated. Issue 04 | AUGUST 2017 | 25