Annual Veterinary Dental Forum

The recent Veterinary Dental Forum was attended by veterinarians and veterinary technicians from around the world. Over 1000 individuals attended the three days of lectures and instructional labs on veterinary dentistry. The annual vet dental forum is an opportunity for our group of board certified veterinary dentists to come together and share with one another as well as provide education to the entire veterinary community, which ultimately impacts both oral and overall health of people’s pets.

Dr. Dale Kressin, of Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists taught a lab about veterinary oral surgery and dental extraction techniques. Dr. Tony Woodward, Animal Dental Care, presented about Warm Gutta Percha Obturation Techniques and Vital Pulp Therapy. Dr. Brook Niemiec, Southern California Veterinary Specialties, presented on unusual feline oral pathology, surgical veterinary endodontics, dental emergencies and advanced periodontal treatment. Dr. Michael Peak, Tampa Bay Veterinary Dentistry, taught numerous labs on endodontics as well as a lab on veterinary dentin bonding and composite restorations.

Dr. Robert Boyd, Veterinary Dental Services, presented two hours of advanced lecture on veterinary endodontics and 2-four hour advanced lab sessions on veterinary endodontics. Lectures covered LightSpeed (LSX) Instruments that are used for root canal treatment in animals including dogs, cats and some zoo animals as well as the EndoVac a negative pressure irrigation system that is used in concert with LSX instruments to clean and disinfect an animals root canal system. These lab sessions were attended by veterinarians, veterinary dentists and residents who are learning advanced veterinary dental techniques. Dr. Boyd first introduced this innovative endodontic instrument system to veterianry dentists at the 16th Annual Veterinary Dental Forum. Since LightSpeed was first introduced many advances and changes have taken place in both the instruments and and their use. EndoVac is a relatively new irrigation system that compliments the LSX instruments to effectively treat endodontic disease in animals.

Dr. Curt Coffman of Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists presented instructional lectures on veterinary root canal treatment and crown restorations, and organized a hands-on lab with Dr. Robert Furman, of Southern California Veterinary Dental Specialties, teaching veterinarians the basics of metal crown restorations in dogs. Dr. P. Vall of Animal Dental Care also offered presentations on surgical extractions of maxilliary and mandibular molars as well as gingival physiology.

During the Awards presentation Dr. Visser as a past winner, presented the award for the 2012 Fellow of the Year. (Left to Right Dr. Brook Niemiec Dr. Randi Brannon, Dr. Ken Capron and Dr. Chris Visser )

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

Brushing Cat's Teeth - Home Cat Dental Care

Brush your cat’s teeth regularly to prevent plaque & tartar build up between vet dentist visits.

It’s extremely important to regularly care for your cat’s teeth at home in between regular veterinary dental care. Imagine going days, weeks, months or even years without brushing your teeth – bad breath would be only the beginning of the problems. This is no different for your cat and if you’re not currently caring for your cat’s teeth at home – you should start right away.

Cats may not accept brushing as easily as many dogs, so owners often don’t attempt to brush their cat’s teeth. You may have success with a finger brush as opposed to the toothbrush. If you absolutely are unable to brush your cat’s teeth, you may need to utilize a variety of techniques including veterinary dental gels, water additives or dental diets.  Watch a video from the Cornell Feline Health Center about how to brush your cat’s teeth.

Wisconsin Veterinary Dentist, Dale Kressin, DVM, AVDC, says, “Research in veterinary medicine has shown that periodontal disease can spread to the heart, kidney and liver and create significant problems.” See more about Dr. Kressin’s home pet dental care recommendations.

“At home dental care is important to maintain your cat’s overall good oral health,” says Washington Veterinary Dentist, Allen Matson, DVM, AVDC. At Eastside Veterinary Dentistry, their staff also provides one-on-one pet dental homecare demonstrations to their clients.

California Veterinary Dentist, Brook Niemiec, DVM, AVDC, stresses the importance of home dental care in preventing and treating periodontal disease. “Next to professional veterinary dental cleanings, the most important aspect is home care. This will greatly increase the periodontal health of your cat, as well as decrease the frequency of professional cleanings.

Arizona Veterinary Dentist, Chris Visser, DVM, AVDC stresses the importance of any homecare efforts, “There are several home care oral hygiene options from which to choose, but keep in mind that anything you can do to help prevent plaque and tartar accumulation in your cat will pay big dividends.” Here you can see commonly used options for home oral hygiene that have been proven to be of benefit for cats.

“The more dental care you can do at home for your cat, the less that will have to be done by a veterinarian,” says Tony Woodward, DVM, AVDC. “Frequently the best approach is to combine several methods of control to achieve best results with cat home dental care.

According Tampa Bay Veterinary Dentist, Michael Peak, DVM, AVDC it’s important to remember that, “animals have no special ability to resist dental disease.” There is a common misconception among many people that cat’s mouths are different than our own and that they fight off dental disease on their own.  Dr. Peak offers an excellent resource of steps for cat dental home care.

Chew toys may be a benefit in reducing tartar build up, but Houston Veterinary Dentist, Robert Boyd, DVM, AVDC urges dog owners to, “be careful when selecting chew toys for cats because some objects that are too hard can cause broken teeth. Only if the toy can be bent or dented, is it safe for a dog to chew.”

When choosing dental health products for your cats, Virginia Veterinary Dentist, Thomas Chamberlain, DVM, AVDC recommends looking at www.vohc.org for products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council so you are certain they are safe and effective dental health products for your dog.