Skip to main content

Small Animal Dental Procedures for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses

Small Animal Dental Procedures for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses

Jeanne R. Perrone (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-47287-3 September 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 256 Pages




Small Animal Dental Procedures for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses is a comprehensive, procedures-based resource for technicians and nurses involved with all aspects of canine, feline, and exotic animal dentistry. Heavily illustrated and clinically oriented, this training manual provides step-by-step instructions on the oral exam, anesthesia, cleaning and radiology, as well as the necessary background on dental anatomy, common diseases and terminology. Each chapter includes learning objectives and key terms to promote retention, and a companion website provides review questions, training exercises, images from the book and additional images in PowerPoint, chapter glossaries, and forms available for download.       

Fully authored by Veterinary Technician Specialists in Dentistry, the book covers all aspects of veterinary dentistry that a technician will encounter in daily practice, with a special emphasis on the technician’s role relative to dental procedures.  With extensive full-color pictures, review questions and glossary terms, Small Animal Dental Procedures for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses is equally useful for veterinary technician or nursing students, technicians or nurses in practice, and those pursuing their specialty certification in veterinary dentistry.

Related Resources


Request an Evaluation Copy for this title

Contributors xiii

Foreword by Judy Ozier xv

Foreword from Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians xvii

Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxi

1: The Basics 3
Gerianne Holzman

Anatomy of the Skull 4

Odontogenesis 12

Anatomy of the Tooth 15

Directional Terminology 18

Training and Key Terms: Online only

2: The Examination Room and the Dental Patient 23
Mary Berg

Introduction 24

The Client Interview 24

The Oral Examination: Conscious Patient 25

The Dental Estimate (Treatment Plan) 27

Training and Key Terms: Online only

3: Components of the Dental Operatory 29
Benita Cherry

Dental Delivery Units 30

Dental Handpieces 32

Power Scalers 34

Dental Tables 38

Ergonomics and Personal Protection 41

Training, Key Terms, and Supplemental Figures: Online only

4: Anesthesia and the Dental Patient 45
Annie Mills

Introduction 46

Anesthesia for the Dental Patient 46

Anesthetic Equipment 47

Monitoring Anesthesia and Common Complications 50

Pain Management in the Dental Patient 53

Training, Key Terms, and “Anesthesia Cheat Sheet”: Online only

5: The Dental Cleaning 59
Julie McMahon

Introduction 60

Common Instrumentation for the Dental Cleaning 61

The Dental Record 64

The Dental Cleaning Procedure 67

Purpose of the Oral Exam and Charting 67

Cleaning the Teeth Using the Power Scaler 74

Dental Cleaning with Hand Instrumentation 75

Polishing 78

Recovery 79

Home Care 80

Equipment and Instrument Care 82

Training, Key Terms, Supplemental Figures, “Brushing the Teeth,” and “Developing a Home Dental Health Care Plan”: Online only

6: Dental Radiology 87
Laurel Bird

Radiography in Veterinary Dentistry 88

The Dental X-Ray Unit 88

Dental Film and Processing 90

Positioning for Taking Dental Radiographs 94

Care and Storage of Images 100

Anatomy of the Dental Radiograph 101

Training, Key Terms, and Supplemental Figures: Online only

7: Common Dental Conditions and Treatments 105
Jeanne R. Perrone, Sara Sharp, and Patricia A. March

Introduction 106

Periodontal Disease 106

Jeanne R. Perrone

What is Periodontal Disease? 106

Pathogenesis of Periodontal Disease 106

Clinical Signs 108

Radiographic Signs 108

Treatment and Therapies 111

Summary 114

Training, Key Terms, Supplemental Figures, “Dental Extractions,” “Extraction Instrumentation,” “Flap Procedures,” “Oronasal Fistula,” “Periodontal Instrumentation,” and “Stages of Periodontal Disease”: Online only

Endodontic Disease 115

Sara Sharp

Anatomy of the Pulp 115

Indications for Endodontic Therapy Due to Trauma 115

The Endodontic Exam 116

The Endodontic Treatment 117

In Conclusion 123

Training, Key Terms, and Supplemental Figures: Online only

Malocclusion 123

Patricia A. March

Normal Occlusion 123

Types and Treatments of Malocclusions 124

Position Statements 126

Treatment of Malocclusions 127

Training, Key Terms, and Supplemental Figures: Online only

Jaw Fracture Management 130

Patricia A. March

Types and Treatments for Jaw Fractures 130

Training, Key Terms, Supplemental Figures, and “Tape Muzzle”: Online only

Oral Tumors 134

Patricia A. March

Benign Oral Tumors and Treatments 135

Malignant Oral Tumors and Treatments 137

Charting and Preparation of Samples 139

Training, Key Terms, and Supplemental Figures: Online only

8: Feline Dentistry 143
Jennifer Crawford and Billie Jean (Jeannie) Losey

Introduction 144

Gingivostomatitis 144

Jennifer Crawford

Introduction 144

Symptoms of Gingivostomatitis 145

Diagnostics 147

Oral Evaluation 147

Treatments 148

Summary 151

Key Terms and Supplemental Figures: Online only

Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex 151

Billie Jean (Jeannie) Losey

Eosinophilic Ulcers 151

Eosinophilic Plaque 151

Collagenolytic Granuloma 152

Causes 152

Symptoms 152

Diagnostics 153

Treatments 153

Key Terms: Online only

Feline Tooth Resorption 154

Billie Jean (Jeannie) Losey

Definition and Symptoms 154

Stages of Tooth Resorption 156

Diagnostics 158

Charting 158

Treatment 159

Key Terms and Supplemental Figures: Online only

Training: Online only

9: Dentistry and the Exotic Patient 161
Kathy Istace

Challenges of Exotic Dentistry 162

Rodent Dentistry 162

Caviomorph Rodents (Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Degus) 162

Murine Rodents (Rats, Mice, Hamsters, Gerbils) 162

Oral Examination of Rodents 165

Anesthesia and Pain Management 165

Common Dental Problems of Rodents 167

Dental Instruments 168

Husbandry and Home Care 169

Miscellaneous Small Pets 169

Supplemental Figures: Online only

Rabbit Dentistry 170

Oral Anatomy and Dentition of Rabbits 170

Oral Examination of Rabbits 171

Anesthesia and Pain Management 172

Common Dental Problems of Rabbits 174

Dental Instruments 176

Husbandry and Home Care 176

Supplemental Figures: Online only

Ferret Dentistry 177

Oral Anatomy and Dentition of Ferrets 177

Oral Examination of Ferrets 177

Anesthesia and Pain Management 177

Common Dental Problems of Ferrets 180

Dental Instruments 181

Husbandry and Home Care 181

Supplemental Figures: Online only

Dental Radiography for the Exotic Patient 181

Materials and Equipment 181

Rodents and Rabbits 182

Ferrets 184

Supplemental Figures: Online only

Training; Key Terms; Dental Assessment Charts for Rabbit, Guinea Pig, Chinchilla, Rat, Mouse, Hamster, and Ferret: Online only

10: Discharging the Dental Patient 187
Patricia Dominguez

Discharge Instructions: What You Need 188

The Importance of Photographs and Radiographs 192

Managing Recheck Visits 194

Reminders: How Often Should Dental Patients Return? 195

Training and Key Terms: Online only

Appendices 197

1. Home Oral Health Care Interview Form 197

2. Canine Dental Chart 198

3. Feline Dental Chart 200

4. Dental Procedure Estimate 202

5. Dental Procedure Release Form 203

6. Dental Radiograph Template 204

7. Discharge Take Home Instructions Example 206

8. Discharge Take Home Pictures: Simple Example 208

9. Discharge Take Home Pictures: Detailed Example 209

Index 217

For materials available online only, go to

“Because the nurse is extremely important in client communication, numerous practical tips are also provided. This book will keep you smiling .”  (Vet Nurses Today, 1 June 2013)

“Any dental clinic needs this!.”  (Midwest Book Review, 1 February 2013)

“This is a very well written text book with comprehensive and detailed illustrations, including the web content,
aimed at veterinary technicians and nurses . . . Overall, I would highly recommend this book for veterinary technicians and nurses, whether training or qualified. It appears to be good value for money given the quantity and quality of the illustrations.”  (Veterinary Record, 2 February 2013)


Companion website

  • Offers a comprehensive, procedures-based reference to the skills required from technicians and nurses in all aspects of dental care
  • Fully authored  by Veterinary Technician Specialists in Dentistry
  • Promotes learning retention through review questions and answers, key terms, and learning objectives
  • Covers canine, feline, and exotic animal dental anatomy and terminology
  • Heavily illustrated in full color to provide a detailed visual guide to dental procedures
  • Provides forms for use in practice, review questions and answers, training exercises, editable glossaries arranged by chapter, and images on a companion website