One veterinary dental trend you'd like to see vanish

December 14, 2018
Mary L. Berg, BS, RVT, RLATG, VTS (dentistry)

Mary L. Berg, BS, RVT, RLATG, VTS(Dentistry) is a Charter member of the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians and received her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Dentistry in June 2006. Mary is currently serving as the treasurer of the AVDT and the American Society of Veterinary Dentistry. She is the past president of the KVTA and a member at large of the NAVTA board. Mary worked in research for more than 22 years, specializing in products aimed at improving oral health of companion animals. She was the practice manager and dental technician specialist at Gentle Care Animal Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas, for more than seven years and is currently the president of Beyond the Crown Veterinary Education, a veterinary dental consulting service. She and her husband Doug live on a farm near Lawrence, Kansas, with a menagerie of animals.

This expert sees false hope for many in one offering.

When we asked Fetch dvm360 conference speaker Mary Berg, BS, RVT, RLATG, VTS (dentistry), for one trend she'd like to see disappear, she didn't have to think long. Without hesitation she named anesthesia-free dentistry.

But wait-shouldn't it be goal to keep patients off of anesthesia where possible? Yes, but there's one drawback.

Hail Mary (Berg)

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"It can only be done on about ten percent of the patients, and those patients have to have either a grade one or a grade two periodontal disease in order for it to be effective," she says.

This leads to confusion for clients who of course want anesthesia-free treatment for their pets, but for whom it's not an option. It also lures owners whose pet have had done into a false sense of calm as Berg notes that the procedure is not for every pet, every time.

Overall, she feels that putting pets under anesthesia for dental work is best:

"It's up to the veterinary team to explain the need for anesthetized dental cleanings in order to promote the best health," Berg says.

Watch the video for more.

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