Tools of the trade: Tartar Removing Forceps D1013

by Rebecca Hagney VN, Claws and Paws Family Veterinary Hospital, Bathurst, NSW

These forceps quickly and effectively remove tartar without putting too much pressure on the tooth. It’s a simple little tool that is nice and easy to use.

What’s good about it

The forceps are flat on one side and beak-shaped on the other. The flat edge is placed on the crown of the tooth and the beak is used to break off big chunks of plaque in one go. There’s a nice satisfying crack when it happens and a beautiful clean tooth is revealed. A smaller version is used with cats and a larger one for dogs.

A hand scaler requires quite a bit of pressure to remove plaque whereas the forceps are very easy on the tooth. One little crack and all the plaque comes off. After the plaque is removed, we use an ultrasonic cleaner to get under the gum and do a thorough cleaning. This is followed by a polish and then the job is done.

We do quite a few dentals in our practice, especially on smaller breeds of dogs such as Maltese and Chihuahua. They generally have diets consisting of soft food and so their teeth get very badly caked with plaque. We always discuss diet change and prophylaxis but they usually result in a dental.

While most of our cleanings are done under anaesthetic, I’ve used these forceps on older dogs while they are wide awake. You have to pick your dog but they have all tolerated it very well. The forceps are very gentle and there’s no chance of hurting the dog or fracturing the tooth.

What’s not so good

I really can’t see any negatives to this tool. It has a simple function, it’s faster and easier than a hand scaler and it does its job extremely well.

Where did you get it

IM3

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