We tend to trust our human medical system in Ontario. Yes, we complain about wait times, but the quality of care is second to none in the world. When we are admitted to hospital we receive treatment from qualified physicians, nurses and attendants. Similarly, human dentists are professionally trained, inspected and licensed to practice in the province of Ontario.
It is the same on the veterinary side. Facilities are inspected regularly. Veterinary medical training in Canada is outstanding. Continuing education is on-going. Veterinarians and technicians generally provide world renowned, compassionate service when taking care of your pets.
We expect, and should receive treatment in each of the above facilities with equipment that is clean, sterilized and inspected. We have recourse if we have concerns about how we, or our animals, are treated.
So, why is it that there are non veterinarians in the province of Ontario that scrape dogs teeth and call it a dentistry? Although we love our hair salons, would we want our hair stylists to clean our teeth? Mechanics are crucial to caring for our cars, but would we ask our mechanic to assess our dental disease? Unsuspecting owners thinking that they are doing a service for their pets are doing just that. A proper dentistry requires dental radiographs to look below the gum at what we cannot see. Broken roots and abscessed teeth cause pain, but if we just clean off the surface tartar because we can see it, we are not treating the disease. A proper dental prophylaxis requires general anesthetic which should be performed with monitors and trained personnel. Scrapping teeth while your pet is awake can potentially damage the teeth and completely ignores underlying disease. Often, after years of this kind of treatment pets are presented with serious, painful dental disease requiring multiple tooth extractions.
It is important for all of us to become informed about proper professional care and expect the best for our pets. See the American Veterinary Dental College for further information.