What Is the Difference Between Prophylaxis Vs. Dental Cleaning?

What Is the Difference Between Prophylaxis Vs. Dental Cleaning?

Companion Animal Dentistry 10.4.07

Thursday, October 04, 2007

6:26 PM

What is the difference between prophylaxis vs. dental cleaning?

  • Prophylaxis is preventative treatment of disease
  • Dental cleaning often times periodontal disease is already present

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Crown- Part of the tooth that you can see

Root- Hold the tooth into the jaw

CEJ (Cemental enamel juntion)- where the enamel and the root of the tooth meet

Gingival Sulcs- The space between the gingiva and the crown

Dog Normal = 1-3 mm

Cat Normal = .5-1 mm

Pulp - Where the nerves, blood vessel and lymphatic systems are located

Dentin- Porous substance causing sensitivity in teeth

Enamel- Hard surface covering crown





Dental Formulas:

Upper / Lower


Permanent: 2 (I 3/3, C 1/1, P 4/4, M2/3)= 42

Deciduous: 2 (I 3/3, C 1/1, P3/3)= 28


Permanent: 2(I 3/3, C1/1, P 3/2, M 1/1)= 30

Deciduous: 2(C3/3, C 1/1, P3/2) = 26

(I= Incisors C= Canines P=Premolars M=Molars)

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Note: The molars are for grinding

The carnassials tooth is used for meet shearing (1st molar 4th upper premolar)

The deciduous teeth are denoted by lower case letter

Identification Methods:

Subscript Superscript Method P3 1M

Triadan System:

Right Upper = 1

Upper Left = 2

Lower Left = 3

Lower Right = 4

  • There are three numbers in the system
  • The 1st number indicates the quadrant of the four areas
  • The second and third number indicate the number of the tooth

Start counting on the central incisor

Maxillary= Upper Mandibular= Lower

What is the difference between Anatomical Vs. Tiradan?


Easy to remember, uses familiar terms, not computer friendly


Confusing and must be memorized, computer friendly, similar to human medicine

Single Rooted Teeth:

-Incisors, canines, 1st premolar, and lower 3rd molar

Two Rooted Teeth

-Upper PM2 and PM3, lower premolars and molars except for last molar (M3)

Three Rooted Teeth

-4th upper premolar (carnassial tooth), Upper M1, Upper M2 (sometimes can be 2 but should be 3)

How does dental calculi form?

  1. Food particles
  1. Saliva
  1. Bacteria
  • Note Calculi and tarter are not plaque, plaque is the pre-curser to tarter, plaque becomes hardened and forms tarter
  • The bacteria caused by calculi can leads to liver, heart, and lung failure can be caused by bacteria
  • The animal eats a meal
  • Aquired particle attaches to surgace of tooth (glycoprotein) in saliva; bacteria colonizes and plaque arives, bacteria dies and more bacteria is then attracted.
  • The bacteria absorb calium from the saliva which results in a "calculus" or "tarter"
  • This creates a cycle causing,
  • cuts of blood supply to bone
  • Depened pocket
  • More Room for tarter
  • Thus affecting the
  • Gingiva
  • Bone Ligament

What are the grades of Periodontal Disease

1: Inflammation

2: Inflammation, edema, gingival bleeding upon probing

3: Inflammation, edema, gingival bleeding upon probing, pustular discharge, slight to moderate bone loss

4: Inflammation, edema, gingival bleeding upon probing, pustular discharge, mobility, severe bone loss

Grade One: Gingival Sulcus 1-3 mm Dog .5-1 mm Cat (Normal)

Grade Two- (Moderate Gingivitis): Gingival Sulcus 1-3 mm Dog .5- 1 mm Cat (Normal)

Grade Three- (Severe Gingivitis): Gingival Sulcus >3 mm dog, >1 Cat

Grade Four- Detachment of ligament, bone loss, tooth loss

Therefore dental prophylaxis is important.

Dental Prophylaxis

  • Always wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Eye Protection
  • Mask
  • Lab Coat
  • Gloves
  • NOTE: The aerosolized bacteria can travel 6-8 feet from the teeth being cleaned
  • Dental Cleaning
  • First step is visual inspection of the oral cavity
  • Look for missing teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Condition of gingiva
  • Amount of calculi
  • Tumors or growth
  • Anything out of the ordinary
  • Normal Interdigitation
  • Look for a normal scissor bite
  • Missing teeth are common in collies german shepards and other longer nosed dogs
  • Note supernurmerary tooth or retained deciduas or extra teeth
  • Tooth rotation is common in bracycephalic dogs
  • Hairy tongues are common
  • After evaluation use an explorer and a probe
  • The explorer identifies depressions or enamel deficiencies
  • Probe is used to measure the gingival sulcus
  • Gently probe all around the tooth and record findings in chart (note any abnormal depths)
  • After exploration use a chlorhexadine mouth wash (15 cc clorhexadine / 1 gallon water)
  • After mouth rinse perform supragingival scaling
  • This can be done using hand instruments, a pulling motion, pencil grip
  • Ultrasonic scaling
  • Few seconds on each tooth
  • Water stream is important (must have due to heat build up)
  • Rotosonic scaling is an older technique
  • There are very styles and length of stacks due to different machines. The newer the machine the shorter the stack
  • The ultrasonic inserts vary in types as well
  • Thin tops (p12) thicker tops (P10) beaver tails (plaque whacker) removes tarter quickly
  • Ultrasonic Basics
  • Fill hand piece with water
  • Adjust water flow and power to lowest settings
  • Adjust water flow to steady stream
  • Adjust to lowest possible power to create a mist (lowest power to prevent thermo damage)
  • Always use water and keep the tip moving with light paintbrush strokes
  • Subgingival scaling
  • Run insert tip into gingival sulcus
  • This is the most important part of dental prophy!!!
  • YOU can "feel" the tarter build up within the gingiva
  • With the hand instrument use curette (round tip)
  • Removal of subgingival calculi
  • Root planing
  • Cleaning of the cementum
  • Subgingival curettage
  • Debriding of the soft necrotic tissue that lies the inside of the gingival sulcus
  • After all is completed necessary to polish
  • Always polish at 2,000-6,000 rpm
  • Smoother the surgace the more difficult it is for bacteria to stick
  • Polish under the gingival sulcus
  • Do for less than 10-15 seconds
  • Once polishing is completed flush mouth with weak chlorhedxadine solution (2%)
  • This can be achieved by diluting 15cc chlorhexadine per 1 gallon water
  • Flush out the gingival sulcus and remove the pumice from polishing
  • Extractions
  • Must be preformed under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian
  • Always chart your findings
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Dry teeth
  • Apply fluoride (gel , varnish (copal-f)
  • 4 Minutes contact time
  • Inform client of gastric ulcers (black tarry stools, vomiting, blood) immediately stop fluoride treatment
  • At home prevention
  • Hard dry food
  • T/D
  • Gauze on fingertip
  • Brushing
  • Toothpastes
  • Flavors
  • Oral flushes
  • Tooth eruptions
  • Canines - 6 months
  • Incisors- 4 Months
  • Young animals have a wide open root canal as they get older the dentin fills in and the canal becomes more narrow