Stand firm on dental care
Q I'm a technician, and I often suggest dental care for pets. But not everyone sees the value. How do I get the rest of my team on board with dental care?
"This is a difficult situation and it may take time to solve," says Mary L. Berg, BS, RVT, VTS (dentistry), the practice manager at Gentle Care Animal Hospital in Lawrence, Kan. Some team members may hesitate to recommend dental care because clients resist spending the money. In these cases, it may help to explain that preventive dental measures safeguard the pet's health, just as vaccinations and heartworm prevention help their pet stay healthy.
"Emphasize that by regularly performing dental cleanings we can reverse gingivitis or halt the progression to a more severe periodontal disease that can result in bone loss, tooth loss, and even systemic disease," she says. "As technicians, we need to be the pet's advocate, so be persistent. Find good references, such as articles or book chapters, that help enforce the importance of early and regular treatment. And continue to seek continuing education in the dental field and encourage others in your practice to do so as well."