Continuing Education Updates – Dentistry

On Tuesday, November 18, we closed our door for the afternoon to present a lecture and wet lab for our technicians and doctors. Dr. Paul Mitchell, a boarded veterinary specialist in dentistry (AVCD), came to discuss the importance of dental health and recent advances in veterinary dentistry. Dr. Mitchell did a 3 year dental residency in Dallas, Texas, and has spoken national and internationally on veterinary dentistry. He is the author of Small Animal Dentistry.

Dr. Mitchell provided an educational lecture and then conducted a hands-on session reviewing dental cleaning techniques and providing instruction in dental x-ray techniques, sub gingival scaling, and root scaling. Staff members whose pets needed of dental care were patients for the wet lab.

Dr. Mitchell said that dental disease can lead to tooth loss, oral pain, and systemic disease. He emphasized the risk to major organs such as the heart, the kidneys, and the liver when dental disease is present. The chronic showering of bacteria from diseased teeth and gums can cause damage and disease in these organs. The chronic inflammatory effect of dental disease has an adverse effect on the entire body.

He recommends that dogs should have their gums and teeth monitored regularly. It’s best to maintain a healthy mouth by brushing your pet’s teeth daily and intervening early in gingival disease. Dental cleanings at the first sign of tartar build-up or gingivitis will help prevent the development of more significant dental disease.

The take home message is that early intervention can prevent oral disease, loss of teeth, and help maintain a healthy body.