Companion animal dental care should be performed in an area prepared especially for this purpose. Dental procedures cause aerosolization of bacteria and particulate matter. Use of a dedicated space, separate from the surgical suite and preferably in a low-traffic area, is recommended for non-sterile dental procedures. Appropriate ventilation and anesthetic scavenging systems must be utilized. Low-heat, high-intensity lighting and magnification are required to adequately and safely visualize the oral cavity and its structures. The operating table must allow for drainage and be constructed of impervious, cleanable material that can be sterilized effectively. Aspiration of water and debris can be prevented through endotracheal intubation and suction, and packing the posterior oral cavity with gauze. Positioning of the patient and/or use of an inclined table can help prevent aspiration.

Recommended materials, instruments and equipment for performing dental procedures are listed in Tables 2-4. Consult the references for recommendations and information about ordering equipment.1-5

Operator protection

Pathogens and debris such as calculus, tooth fragments and prophy paste can be aerosolized during a dental procedure. Irrigating the oral cavity with a 0.12 % chlorhexidine solution decreases bacterial aerosolization.6

During dental procedures, the operator should be shielded from excess radiation exposure, and should use devices to protect the skin, as well as to prevent injuries to eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth and lungs. Ergonomic considerations include proper seating, fatigue mats for standing, and proper positioning and placement of the patient and materials to minimize both immediate and chronic operator injuries. The operator should be provided with instruction on proper instrument handling techniques.

Table of Contents
The Smile Book V
The Oral Assessment, Treatment and Prevention Visit
Jan Bellows, D.V.M. Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College
Getting Ready
Facility Requirements
Oral Assessment, Treatment and Prevention

Check out the entire
Smile Book Series


Copyright 1997- All Pets Dental Clinic
No portion of this site may be copied without authorization.
If you have any questions about the site, or are referencing it in an article or other website, please notify the webmaster.

Jan Bellows, DVM
All Pets Dental Clinic
17100 Arvida Parkway
Weston, FL 33326
(954) 349-5800