Baring their Teeth: Dental Care for Animal Patients
Animal dental treatment is a relatively new field of practice, and while many hospitals do not have full-time dentists on staff, more stand-alone clinics are being built. Dental treatment rooms generally have a tub table for carrying out procedures, with hot and cold potable water and connections for compressed air, vacuum and oxygen.
Dental procedures on animals differ from those for humans: The patient is completely anesthetized and the doctor must move around more because of the anatomy of animal mouths. Thus, medical gases must be available but from hoses that are thoughtfully located so as not to disturb the doctor. A good practice is to provide ceiling-drop outlets for oxygen and vacuum to minimize dangling hoses between the walls and the respirator.
The Rosedale Animal Dental Center in Baltimore, Md., is a one-of-a-kind facility comprising a veterinary hospital, an animal dental clinic and a dental teaching center under one roof. The dental suite consists of a tub table and a standard surgical table; 1/2-inch domestic cold and hot water are connected to the tub table. A standard kitchen sink with a gooseneck and a plaster solids trap is located on the counter.
Usually, two patients are taken care of simultaneously, so oxygen and vacuum piped above the ceiling are dropped along a column between the two tables to twin outlets for easy access. Compressed air is also piped above the ceiling and drops down to the dental tool rack, which swings along a hinge. An oil separator is installed in the compressed-air line ahead of the tools. Filtered water is used to power tools without clogging.
At the core of the facility is a dental training classroom with 13 working benches and a service counter. Compressed air is piped to each training bench from an air compressor dedicated to the training area. Vacuum, however, is piped throughout the facility and is served by one pump. A countertop sink with a plaster solids trap is installed in the classroom.