The Pulse Of Veterinary Medicine
Vet-To-Vet Conversation With IDEXX
February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Get your practice and your clients ready with these tips.
1. Brush up on your dental knowledge
Make sure everyone in the practice understands the connection between good dental hygiene and preventing disease. Get your staff started with these free educational resources:
- That’s What’s Under the Gumline (RACE #106-16925)
- Understanding the Oral Health-Retrovirus Connection
- Safe Dental Care for Seniors (RACE #106-17432)
2. Get your clients to say “ahhh”
Given that the prevalence of periodontal disease has been reported to be as high as 84%,1 it’s critical to raise your clients’ awareness about the importance of dental hygiene. Posting this client-friendly quiz from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on your practice’s Facebook page is a great way to start. View more AVMA resources here.
3. Drive traffic to your practice
Run a dental program to get patients into your practice. Right now the awareness generated by National Pet Dental Health Month will help. Notify your clients via text messaging or email to get results fast and send postcards to create added visibility. Keep the momentum going by running periodic dental health programs.
4. Implement protocols for preventive care
Your clients might not be aware that untreated dental disease may lead to other health problems as pets age.2 Every visit is an opportunity to make sure patients are up to date with preventive care diagnostics and have a complete baseline of medical data, as is listed in our Simple Tools for Effective Protocols, or STEPs. Use STEPs to increase compliance with your recommendations, including preanesthetic testing with the Cardiopet® proBNP Test before dental cleanings for cats and for dogs with murmurs.
Dental health is important all year long. Your patients and your practice will benefit from reinforcing that good dental health can help you guard against the roots of disease, protect teeth and improve comfort.
1. Kortegaard HE, Eriksen,T, Baelum V. Periodontal disease in research beagle dogs—an epidemiological study. J Small Anim Pract. 2008 Dec;49(12):610–616. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2008.00609.x. Epub 2008 Sep 12.
2. American Veterinary Dental College. Periodontal disease. http://www.avdc.org/periodontaldisease.html. Accessed January 26, 2017.