Tools of the trade: Vetome

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automated periotome

by Dr Ash Narayan, Family Vets Western Sydney, Blacktown, NSW

Vetome is an automated periotome that looks like a big pen and uses ultra-thin, flexible blades. There are 10 different power settings and a variety of different sized tips available. 

What’s good about it

The Vetome reduces the amount of time for extractions while saving more of the bone structure. The blade is inserted into the alveolus and then moved side to side to cut the periodontal ligament. It is operated by a foot pedal and is nice and easy on the wrist.

If you have to remove a fractured canine of a large dog, the traditional way is to cut the gum, use a power tool to cut away part of the alveolar bone, then lift out the tooth. This can take up to 45 minutes for the upper jaw and even longer for the lower jaw. Once the periodontal ligaments are cut with the Vetome, the tooth can generally be gently rotated and removed with an extractor.

The blades are autoclaveable and reusable. They come in two forms—one is flexible and thin while the other is more robust. I’ve never had a blade break. 

I use the Vetome with virtually all extractions. It works just as well for cats and dogs. The only time I don’t use it is with deciduous canines in young animals. This unit has saved me a lot of time and anguish. Within 24 hours of use, the patient exhibits no bleeding or pain and their level of comfort is fantastic. 

What’s not so good

The handpiece is quite heavy and there is a substantial investment when purchasing a unit. You also have to look after the machine and ensure it’s never dropped. The blades are proprietary so they must be purchased from IM3.

Where did you get it

IM3

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