Teaching proper dental care is part of the program at Pet Crossing Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic in Bloomington, Minn.
And co-owners Drs. Katherine Knutson and Stephen Barghusen aren't just teaching their staff. They're using a dental lecture series to help practices statewide improve their standard of dental care and improve
When Drs. Knutson and Barghusen built the hospital, they designed the lobby to accommodate up to 63 seats for the series and
other community outreach programs. They also installed an audiovisual screen. Now, every four to six weeks, practice teams
come from across the state to attend a one- or two-day seminar. A plus: The Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association approved
the seminars for four to 12 hours of CE.
"We believe that dental care requires a practice-wide commitment if compliance is going to improve," says Dr. Knutson. "We
designed our seminars to train representatives from each segment of the hospital, so the team leaves ready to put a comprehensive
dental program in place."
On average, each practice sends six to eight team members to listen to an overview and a series of case studies. Then the
presenters split the attendees by job function, grouping client service personnel, practice managers, technicians, and veterinarians,
to discuss the job-specific aspects of a dental program. Two-day participants reconvene to workup and treat a real case from
a local rescue organization.
Three to five practices attend each session. Pet Crossing Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic charges $895 and $1,500 per practice
for the one-and two-day seminars, respectively. More than 35 practices have attended the lecture series so far.
In the short term, Dr. Knutson says her dental referrals have decreased because nearby practice teams now have better dental
training. But she's not deterred. "As practices learn what diagnostic and treatment options exist for their patients, we'll
receive referrals for procedures that the referring veterinarian might not have known were necessary before attending our
lecture series," she says. "In the end, everyone profits."