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Dr Rhys Hayward discusses: Discounting of Grade 1 Dentals? The argument for....

Posted in Festival of All Things Dental @ Aug 1st 2013 - By Dr Rhys Hayward, Vets First
All things dental

So....Grade 1 dentals......

(This blog post was written in conjunction with Rhys' other blog post: 'Insider tips for Creating a Successful Veterinary Dental Program')

I’ve battled with this one and realise that there are 2 sides to every argument.  Why do we discount them? 

To be honest I’m not 100% sure and would be interested in other's points of view. 

When we discuss a Grade 1 dental scale and polish with the client, we explain that the procedure is discounted to encourage owners to be proactive and prevent further problems rather than having to deal with a painful mouth later on (“Prevention is better than cure” gets spouted a few times during the consult). 

In our clinics Grade 1 dentals are performed 100% by a team of 2 nurses (one does the anaesthetic and the other the dentistry - I realise this is only legit in some states).  The only vet involvement is if the nurse finds anything other than a small amount of tartar.  We are generally talking 3-5 minutes for a cat and up to about 15 minutes work for a large dog.  Any longer than that and it ain’t a Grade 1! 

Which brings me to my point (yes I have one).  In my opinion if teeth are graded properly, Grade 1 procedures are quick and easy and generally done once or twice a year for your average, small breed dog.  We can easily fit a couple of these in each day without overloading ourselves and therefore this scheme and price structure works well for us.  

What are your thoughts - agree or disagree tell me in the comments section below.

Rhys went to School in Adelaide before going across to Melbourne to study Veterinary Science, graduating in 2001. He worked with Katrina in mixed practice in North-East Victoria for 2 years, then spent a year locuming throughout South Australia and New South Wales. After 3 months of travelling through Eastern Europe Rhys started at Strathalbyn and Riverport in May 2005. Rhys’ main interests include small animal surgery and emergency medicine.  He was admitted to the Australian College of Veterinary Surgeons in the field of Small Animal Surgery in 2010.  He is also a chartered member of the Australian Veterinary Association.  Rhys loves a challenging surgical case!

In his spare time Rhys enjoys cycling, golf and surfing. He enjoys following the Aussie cricket team and the Adelaide Crows.

You can read Rhys' Blog here: Vets First Blog  |  Click here to visit 'Vets First Riverport & Victor Central' on Facebook  |  Click here to follow 'Vets First' on Twitter



David Butchart @ Aug 12th 2013 7:01pm
We also do discounted G1 and G2 and this has markedly increased the number we do as well as the number of G3+ that some turn into. Are you including bloods & fluids in the price?
Rhys Hayward @ Aug 12th 2013 9:58pm
Hi David. I agree that the notion of discounted grade 1 dentals seems to go hand in hand with increasing more of the involved dentistry. We try to "overgrade" in equivocal cases so its rare that a grade 1 dental needs any more work or vet involvement but it does happen on occasion. We include fluids in the price (every GA in our practice goes on a drip ie not optional) but pre anaesthetic blood testing is extra. Rhys

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