image of Dentistry
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Veterinary dentistry ranges from basic scaling, polishing and tooth extraction procedures to include more advanced methods of conserving teeth. The dental equipment required varies with the individual requirements of the practice, client needs and expectations, and financial constraints. This chapter provides information on the dental room or area, including equipment and management considerations.

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9.1 A dedicated dental room with a fixed-height tub table with grille and drawer storage for dental instruments, wall-mounted dental X-ray machine, air-driven dental unit and an adjustable stool.
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9.2 This dental room (on the right) leads off the ‘dirty ops’ area of the preparation room.
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9.3 This dental area is situated in a room also used for endoscopy. Note the electrically adjustable table, with inbuilt grid area for fluid drainage. The adjustable stool aids operator comfort. This room has a wall-mounted dental X-ray unit with a digital CR processor. Dedicated dental cabinetry has been used, with purpose-built drawers for instruments and a hands-free enclosed waste bin under the sink.
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9.4 The dental X-ray films commonly used in practice are, from left: occlusal, adult periapical, paediatric periapical. An opened film envelope reveals the film (green), lead backing sheet, and black protective paper. Also shown is an X-ray film clip. A chairside ‘darkroom’ is convenient for processing dental X-ray films.
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9.5 Digital dental radiography. This transducer is used to take digital dental radiographs using the direct technique. The image is displayed almost immediately on a computer screen. The digital CR film is small and easy to manoeuvre; sizes 2 and 4 are shown here. The film is protected in a clear disposable pouch, which is discarded when the film is inserted into the processing machine. A digital CR dental radiography processor, which reads specific dental film to display on a PC.
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9.6 An air-driven dental machine can have an integral compressor (see Figures 9.1 and 9.10 ) or the compressor can be located elsewhere, as in this example, which makes the unit easier to move and reduces noise and clutter in the dental area.
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9.7 An example of a dental combination unit.
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9.8 Different types of bur. FG fissure bur (TC). FG round bur (diamond). RA fissure bur (TC). RA round bur (TC). HP acrylic trimmer bur (TC). HP round bur (TC). FG = friction-grip; HP are for straight handpieces; TC = tungsten carbide. (Reproduced .)
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9.9 This handpiece is fitted with a fibreoptic light for illuminating the tooth.
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9.10 PPE must be comfortable and easy to wear and work in. Facemasks are available with clear plastic splash guards. Note also the overhead lighting and the blue suction handpiece on the dental machine.
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9.11 Dental unit drawer containing (clockwise from bottom right): pharyngeal packs with black ties; oral swabs with ribbons; prophy cups for polishing teeth; and individual cups of prophy paste.
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9.12 A survival blanket has been employed to keep this cat warm during the dental procedure.
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9.13 A small canine dental chart completed for a patient. © DentaLabels, John Robinson.
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9.14 Sharpening a subgingival curette on an Arkansas stone.


Examples of dental charts

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