7 steps to better veterinary dental recommendations
A. "But last time she had her teeth cleaned at El Cheapo Animal Clinic, they only charged $80."
B. "I've had dogs all my life. They've never had their teeth cleaned, and they did just fine."C. "My neighbor took her cat in for a dental procedure, and it died from the anesthetic."
D. "No, thanks. My groomer brushes Mitsy's teeth when she gets a haircut."
E. "OK, when should we schedule that?"
In a perfect world, clients would respond with E, but you most likely get answers A through D. After all, we as veterinarians understand the importance of comprehensive dental care for our patients, but how well do we convey that to clients?
Whether we call it a "dental," a "comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment" (COHAT), or an "oral assessment, treatment, and prevention" (ATP), we understand that the majority of pets need more than just a prophy. Quickly polishing patients' teeth can miss a multitude of hidden pathologies, from apical abscesses and resorptive lesions to dentigerous cysts and fractured roots. But when clients are bombarded with advertisements for "anesthesia-free" dentals and quoted $75 at the clinic down the street, they're understandably suspicious of our much-higher estimates for comprehensive care. Here are seven ways to explain the cost and importance of dental care to clients.