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Anatomy & pathology

A comprehensive knowledge of oral and dental anatomy and physiology is imperative for recognizing and treating disease in the oral cavity and teeth.


Definitions that pertain to veterinary dental care guidelines.

Dental disease prevention strategies

It is important to communicate with pet owners the importance of dental disease prevention strategies, beginning at the first visit and then throughout the patient’s life stages.

Preventing periodontal disease

Prevention of periodontal disease begins at the first visit, either for a puppy or kitten, as well as for a new adult patient. 

Patient assessment, evaluation, and documentation

A thorough history of patient health should always include an evaluation and update on systemic maladies as well as an evaluation and review of oral hygiene efforts performed by the pet owner. 

Periodontal disease staging

Periodontal disease (PD) staging is most accurate when performed in an unconscious patient after intraoral radiographs and periodontal probing.

Conscious oral evaluation

The conscious oral evaluation is an important first step to anticipating procedural extent and preparing and educating clients regarding anticipated findings while under general anesthesia.

Unconscious oral evaluation

Only after the patient has been anesthetized can a complete and thorough oral evaluation be successfully performed. 33

Considering when to refer

Recommending and providing optimal dental treatment recommendations for your patients sometimes includes recognizing when they should be referred to a specialist.

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AAHA initiatives

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