Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Dental instruments

Synonym(s): Instruments required for performing small animal dentistry

Contributor(s): Jan Bellows

Oral examination

  • Essential to chart clinical findings during oral examination to serve as a record and assist in treatment planning.
  • Require graduated periodontal probe and a dental explorer Dental instruments 01 for thorough examination of teeth and supporting oral tissues.
    Measure graduations on periodontal probe for accurate recording - some graduations = 2mm; some = 3mm.
  • Use periodontal probe to circumscribe gingival sulcus surrounding tooth measuring depth at least at four sites:
    • Mesio-buccal.
    • Disto-buccal.
    • Mesio-palatal/lingual.
    • Disto-palatal/lingual.
  • In the dog normal sulcus depth should not exceed:
    • 3 mm in a large dog.
    • Less in a small dog.
  • In the cat:
    • 1 mm.
  • Depths beyond these measurements are considered pockets (or pseudo-pockets in the case of gingival hyperplasia overgrowth).
  • Also use periodontal probe to measure extent of gingival hyperplasia overgrowth and gingival and bony recession.
  • Explore discolored areas of tooth surface using the sharp dental explorer.
    • Stained tooth surfaces will be hard and explorer will not penetrate them.
    • Caries lesions are soft and cause a mild "tug" effect when instrument is drawn out of lesion.
  • Use dental mirror Dental instruments 01 to observe/view distal aspects of teeth and to direct light into poorly visible areas.

Scale and polish

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Debris flushing

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Dental radiography

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Tooth extraction

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Tutt C, Deeprose J & Crossley D (2007)Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry.3rd edn. BSAVA.
  • Tutt C (2006)Small Animal Dentistry - a manual of techniques.Blackwell Scientific.


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