Vet Dental Update – 8/15/2012

Effect of veterinarian-client-patient interactions on client adherence to dentistry and surgery recommendations in companion-animal practice.
Kanji N, Coe JB, Adams CL, Shaw JR. JAVMA. 240(4):427-36, 2012.
Abstract: This study examined client/veterinarian interactions, looking specifically at the language used when recommending dental or surgical treatment and how this effected whether or not the recommended treatment was eventually provided to the patient. The participating veterinarians were videotaped during 83 interactions with their clients, and their treatment recommendations were graded as being either clear or ambiguous. Patient records were examined six months later to see if the patient had received the recommended procedure. When a recommendation was made in a “clear” fashion, the patient was seven times more likely to have received the recommended procedure. Additionally, the clients who pursued treatment for their pet were much more satisfied with the process than those who did not. Practitioners should strive to use clear statements such as “your pet needs a dental cleaning and dental x-rays” rather than an ambiguous statement like “You might want to consider a dental cleaning for your pet”.

Effectiveness of a Vegetable Chew on Periodontal Disease Parameters in Toy Breed Dogs
Clarke DE, Kelman M, Perkins N. J Vet Dent. 28(4): 230-235, 2011
Abstract: Plaque control is an important part to maintaining proper oral health. Many clients are not able to properly brush the teeth of Toy breed dogs. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of a vegetable based chew in reducing gingivitis, plaque, and calculus. The study was a 70-day crossover study with controls. Although daily brushing and regular professional cleanings are still the gold standard in toy breeds, this study provides another method of improving oral health in pets.

Bonded sealants for uncomplicated crown fractures.
Theuns P, Niemiec BA. J Vet Dent.28(2):130-2, 2011.
Fractured teeth are a very common occurrence in dogs. When the root canal is directly exposed, root canal therapy or extraction is necessary. Uncomplicated crown fractures are defined as tooth fractures which expose the dentin, but not the pulp (root canal/nerve). This creates sensitivity as well as allows a route for bacterial entry into the tooth, possibly causing abscessation. A bonded sealant is a simple procedure to treat this common condition and relieve sensitivity. This article details the indications (and contraindications), materials and techniques for this procedure. This is a must for every general practitioner.

Amlodipine-induced gingival hyperplasia in a Great Dane.
Pariser MS, Berdoulay P. JAAHA. 47(5):375-6, 2011
Abstract: Gingival enlargement or gingival overgrowth (also known as gingival hyperplasia) is a condition where the gingiva grows excessively. Gingival enlargement can create pseudopockets where plaque can accumulate, possibly resulting in periodontal disease. Frequently this condition is diagnosed as idiopathic where no underlying cause can be found. The boxer breed one of the more common breeds affected. Typically the condition is treated by gingivectomy and gingival recontouring as needed. However, there can be underlying causes that can create gingival enlargement. In this case, a 3 year old spayed female Great Dane developed gingival enlargement after treatment of systemic hypertension was treated with amlodipine. Hydralazine replaced amlodipine for treatment of hypertension and the gingival enlargement was mostly resolved in 9 months. Other drugs that have been implicated in gingival enlargement are cyclosporine and some anti-convulsants. Therefore, after diagnosis of gingival enlargement, a careful history should be taken to determine if a medication may be the cause of the condition.