At-home Dental Care is Essential

August 15, 2018

If clients are not willing to commit to some level of at-home dental care, there is no reason to perform extensive dental work on a patient.

Jan Bellows, DVM, DAVDC, ABVP, board-certified dentist at All Pets Dental in Westin, Florida says if clients won’t commit to at-home dental care, there is no reason to perform extensive dental work on a patient.

"The client's commitment to home care is essential. There's no reason to do extensive work on a stage 2, or 3, or 4 periodontal disease if the client cannot commit to some form of home care. Whether it is just wiping the teeth twice a day, brushing the teeth would be wonderful but that's very rarely done, using a water additive, using a dental chew every day, or all of the above. None of them work to totally control periodontal disease, but something should be done at least twice a day. If the client cannot commit to that then our recommendation is to extract the tooth.

How do you get clients committed to home care? The most important thing is to tell the client that we're going to treat their dog or cat very similar to how their teeth are treated. We don't want to extract the teeth just like you wouldn't want your dentist to extract your teeth, but unfortunately if the client cannot commit to daily home care then a 3, or 4 or 5 years old, especially if it's a small pet, they're going to have teeth extracted that are going to be very painful for their pet. So, tell them that every time they brush their own teeth, they should be concerned with taking care of their pets teeth."