What’s new in dentistry? - Veterinary Practice
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What’s new in dentistry?

Discover what’s new in veterinary dentistry with our monthly summary of the latest academic publications on this month’s featured subject

Day one core competencies in dentistry required by veterinary graduates

Colin Harvey and others, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Veterinary dental treatment has increased in range and sophistication over recent decades and is recognised as a critical part of the services provided for small animal clients. A joint declaration in 2020 by the veterinary associations of the US, EU and Canada highlighted the importance of practitioners having a basic knowledge of this discipline at the time of graduation. The authors formed a working group of leading veterinary dentists from academic and private referral centres in the US and abroad. They describe the core competencies they recommend for inclusion in the curriculum for all veterinary graduates. Although they recognise that many dental and maxillofacial treatments require access to highly specialised equipment, they list the range of tasks that they believe all graduates should be able to perform as they begin working in general practice.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 261, 1880-1886

Compliance with veterinary recommendations for home care of periodontitis patients

John Svärd and Karolina Enlund, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala

Periodontal disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, is seen in up to 80 percent of canine patients in veterinary practice. Daily dental home care in the form of tooth brushing is regarded as essential for the prevention and treatment of these conditions. The authors surveyed the owners of 63 dogs being treated for periodontal disease at a university centre. Of those dogs, 42 percent of owners brushed their dogs’ teeth daily, while others performed the task less frequently or not at all. The latter owners reported their dogs’ lack of cooperation in the process or the difficulties in establishing a routine as the main reasons for their lack of compliance with veterinary recommendations.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 65, 59

Effect of antibiotics on complication risk after equine cheek tooth extraction

Matthias Christiansen and others, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Antibiotics are often used prophylactically in horses undergoing cheek tooth removal. While the incidence of post-operative infections in these patients is believed to be low, there is little published data on whether this can be attributed to the use of antibiotics. The authors compared the findings in 264 horses undergoing standing tooth extraction, 49 of which were given post-operative antibiotics. Overall, 18.4 percent of those given antibiotics and 16.3 percent in the non-treatment group developed post-operative complications, with horses in younger age groups at enhanced risk. There was no evidence from these findings that prophylactic treatment reduced the risk of complications.

Equine Veterinary Journal, 55, 968-978

Clinicopathological features of peripheral odontogenic fibromas in dogs

Jacob Ambridge and others, University College Dublin, Ireland

Peripheral odontogenic fibromas are a common benign gingival lesion in dogs, sometimes referred to as fibromatous epulis of periodontal ligament origin. The categorisation and aetiology of these lesions is still a subject of debate among veterinary pathologists. The lesions may cause displacement of teeth. While they can appear macroscopically aggressive, they do not invade bone or metastasise. The authors reviewed the findings from 1,001 cases recorded by a commercial diagnostic laboratory. The lesions occurred more frequently in association with the maxillary than the mandibular teeth; in males more than females; and in Boxers, Border Terriers, Basset Hounds and Staffordshire Bull Terriers more than in crossbreed dogs. Neutering was also linked with an increased risk of this diagnosis.

Journal of Small Animal Practice, 64, 343-349

Interpretation of oral radiographs by clinicians at different career stages

Kristina Feigin and others, Veterinary Dental Services, Boxborough, Massachusetts

Intraoral radiographs are essential in the detection of pathological changes that may not be apparent during a standard visual examination. However, the accurate interpretation of radiographs is essential in providing appropriate treatment. The authors showed dental radiographs with 12 different pathological changes to 20 veterinary dentists, 10 residents and 10 veterinary students. There was good agreement between the different observers on changes to the root canals but less consistency in detecting tooth resorption. The findings illustrate the difficulties in defining specific categories of tooth resorption in dogs and show that interpretation of dental radiographs can be highly subjective.

Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, 41

Surgical treatment of cleft palate in dogs

Ana Castejon-Gonzalez and Alexander Reiter, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Orofacial clefts are the most common congenital orofacial defect in dogs. This condition has a high rate of mortality within the first months of life due to complications from aspiration pneumonia. The authors present a narrative review of the process for the surgical treatment and post-operative care of these patients. They note that dealing with such cases depends not only on the surgical closure of the defect but also on diet management and treatment of other possible maxillofacial abnormalities. There is a high risk of oronasal fistula formation, but with appropriate planning and surgery, the prospects for a successful outcome are good.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 62, 34-43

Methodological quality of systematic reviews of human and animal dentistry studies

Max Menne and others, University Hospital Munster, Germany

Studies on laboratory animals are an important element in preclinical research and help our understanding of the mechanisms of disease in humans and animals. Systematic reviews are particularly useful in summarising the evidence from these studies and improving the process of translational research. The authors carried out an assessment of systematic reviews of dental research, including animal studies, published between 2010 and 2022.  They conclude that the methodological quality of systematic reviews of animal model research in the dentistry field has improved over the years but is still suboptimal. Overall, confidence in the results of these studies was low or critically low.

Irish Veterinary Journal, 76, 33

Malocclusion in cats as a cause of mandibular soft tissue trauma

Daria Ziemann and others, Arka Veterinary Clinic Krakow, Poland

A predisposition to malocclusions has been reported in oriental and brachycephalic cat breeds. The authors used cone beam computed tomography scans to investigate the associations between cephalometric measurements, maxillomandibular dental arch distances and the occurrence of traumatic malocclusions in the mandibular soft tissue of cats. In a series of 24 cases and 48 controls, brachycephaly was a strong predictor for the occurrence of malocclusions, while the space between the crown tips and teeth angulations were also contributing factors to the trauma. These findings may help raise awareness of this condition in brachycephalic cats, and the measurements described used as a tool in the selection of suitable cats for breeding.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 25

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