As the name suggests, there are 3 phases of the Oral ATP visit, and all are equally important:
includes cleaning of dental plaque and calculus from the crowns of the teeth above and below the gingiva, dental imaging (cone beam CT scan +/- dental radiographs), a tooth-by-tooth exam with dental charting and formulation of a treatment plan to address disease that was discovered.
includes regional nerves blocks to allow for better pain control and less overall general anesthesia as well as appropriate procedure to address the findings during the assessment phase which could be root canal therapy, periodontal treatment, surgical extractions, removal of oral tumor or other treatment.
ideally, prevention would begin at an early age, however, surveys show most pet owners are either not aware that home care should be performed or they are just not doing it. Prevention of oral disease can be accomplished by several methods with daily toothbrushing being the most effective.
It only takes 30 seconds to brush the teeth and most patients can be trained to accept this. Other methods of prevention include dental wipes, water additives, special dental diets and chews that can reduce plaque without breaking teeth. Check out the Veterinary Oral Health Council at www.vohc.org to find products who have undergone rigorous testing to prove effectiveness.