Tools of the trade: Vet Dental Charts

by Dr Kirsten Hailstone, Adelaide Animal Emergency and Referral Centre, SA

At present I am in the middle of a dental residency and I use these charts every day. Access to the charts is by paid subscription but it’s not very expensive. They are a fantastic aid to my work.

What’s good about it

A dental chart records the state of the teeth in an animal’s mouth, what work has been done to each tooth and the condition of any problematic teeth. In the past, I used paper charts to record my findings. Vet Dental Charts lets me record the information online and standardises everything. It utilises the wording and terminology used by specialist dental centres to encourage all veterinary staff to speak the same language.

The chart has a representation of the animal’s teeth and a colour-coded table that relates to each individual tooth. Using the correct terminology is of great assistance with insurance claims and in helping owners understand the progression of a disease. There is a list of standard information—owner, home care, address, medications, etc.—and once completed, the chart can be printed out, emailed or saved as PDF in the animal’s file.

The charts can be used on an iPad, PC or Mac and are compatible with Windows or any of the Mac programs. If you’re using an iPad, you can talk to it via Siri and the voice recognition gets better with continued use.

These charts ensure correct terminology, correct numbering of the teeth and the development of a system with repeatable results.

What’s not so good

Before using the charts for the first time with an anaesthetised patient, it would be wise to have uploaded half a dozen of your previous charts to familiarise yourself with the format. This will enable you to use the chart efficiently while your patient is anaesthetised.

Where did you get it

Vet Dental Charts

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