Tools of the trade: UV Dental Torch

by Dr Lydia Brichta, Summer Hill Village Vet, NSW

I originally received these UV dental torches from Hill’s Pet Nutrition and used them for quite a few years. They were sturdy little items, probably not expensive but very handy. When I tried to order some more, I discovered that Hill’s doesn’t carry them anymore. I’ve ordered some cheap ones from eBay and hope they are just as effective. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Hill’s have now re-released this torch. See page 52 for details].

What’s good about it

I use this torch with every single consultation. It’s simply a matter of shining the torch at the animal’s teeth and the plaque and tartar glow pink under the light. The big advantage is that the client gets to see exactly how encrusted are the teeth. This is a great help when there’s only mild plaque on the teeth and it’s a vague, tan colour. There is no doubt that by highlighting the plaque and tartar, the torch encourages clients to agree to a cleaning.

I also use it after a scale and clean. The torch ensures that I don’t miss anything. Quite often there are little pink specks in a groove that simply can’t be seen with the naked eye. The torch ensures that the teeth are perfectly clean before I do a polish.

They run off a couple of AA batteries and are a cheap but hardy piece of equipment. I have one in each consult room and one on each dental equipment tray. It’s an extremely handy and effective piece of equipment.

What’s not so good

The torches we first were given were brilliant and lasted for years. The new ones we are buying off eBay only cost a couple of bucks so who knows how long they will last. At that price, it doesn’t really matter as long as they do what they are supposed to do.

Where did you get it

Originally from Hill’s Pet Nutrition but they don’t carry them anymore. Our second set was purchased from eBay.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hill’s have now re-released this torch.]
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  1. Do you know what wavelength this Hills UV light has? I am trying to figureout if it is possible to use it to detect ringworm in cat as well, but I can’t find any details of it and our Hills representative didn’t have any info.

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