This article is sponsored content brought to you by Hill’s.
According to the Australian Veterinary Dental Society more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats develop gum disease by the age of 2 years. It is the most commonly encountered disease and yet it’s one of the most preventable. Dental disease causes painful inflamed gums, calculus, tooth decay and tooth loss, but it also has an important impact on overall systemic health and wellness.
Concerned by these statistics, in addition to the effect on animal welfare, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) with support from Hill’s sponsorship has recently launched the first Global Dental Guidelines (wsava.org/Guidelines/Global-Dental-Guideline)s The guidelines are free to download and provide vets with expected minimum standards of care as well as detailed information behind these gold standards.
Expect more news in this space as WSAVA also plans on releasing a dental toolkit early next year. This will enable veterinarians to more easily communicate the importance of oral hygiene to owners, helping to improving compliance with their dental recommendations.
In other exciting news, Hill’s has developed a brand new dental app, which will positively impact the way you do your dental charting. It’s called DENTAL INDEX and it is free to download in either the Apple or Google Play stores. This app has been designed to help you efficiently assess the dental status of your dog and cat patients, as well as to monitor changes from visit to visit.
What are the key features of the app?
DENTAL INDEX provides a visual guide as well as an easy to follow step by step assessment, to complete a dental chart.
The app enables you to select individual teeth to note changes, but for more generalised issues there is a feature that allows you to apply changes to all teeth. In addition to identifying missing teeth, plaque, tartar and gingivitis, you can record fractures, resorptive lesions, gingival recession and hypertrophy. You can even upload a picture and input general comments about the condition of the mouth or your dental homecare recommendations.
A report is then emailed to you so it can be added to the patients file, but this report can also be sent direct to the owner. This is a great way of improving the service your clinic provides and the owners’ understanding of their pet’s dental health issues.
How do I get started?
Simply download the app on your smartphone and sign up. All you need to get started is select START ASSESSMENT. It will give you the option to enter a new patient or find an existing one. Select new patient and enter the date, pet’s name and species and it will create a record of this pet (you can enter more details, but these are the bare minimum). The app will then take you through each of the assessment criteria step by step to ensure no lesions are missed.
Reviewing a record is also simple. Just select START ASSESSMENT and EXISTING. Then swipe right over the patient’s name and you will have the option to start a new assessment or view the previous record for this patient.
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