New Patients

If your veterinarian recently referred you to Veterinary Dental Services, we know you likely have many questions about what to expect and exactly how we can help your pet. Or perhaps you WEREN’T referred, but are still interested in making an appointment. Whichever category you fall in, we welcome you and your pet to our practice, and we want you both to be as comfortable as possible as a new patient and client.

As a specialty practice, our board-certified veterinary dentists provide specialized dental services that many standard dental practices cannot. Our focus is set on patient safety and comfort, but we want you—the pet owner—to be comfortable, too. That’s why we take the time to thoroughly discuss your pet’s planned treatment during the initial consultation, answering any questions you have.

Consider the following FAQs, which we hope will give you peace of mind about bringing your pet to us. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to call us.

stare off between vet and young golden retriever

What Exactly Is a Board-Certified Veterinary Dentist?

A board-certified veterinary dentist is a veterinarian who has been certified by the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC). Board certification is the highest level of specialization that may be attained in the veterinary field, requiring 2-6 years of additional training, specific to the specialty. Once a veterinarian has completed this training they must pass a rigorous written and practical exam before being designated a diplomate.

Veterinary dentists are experienced in all aspects of oral health, including the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease, gingivitis, periodontitis, tooth resorption, fractured teeth, oral masses, trauma, malocclusions, abscessed teeth, stomatitis and much more.

What Services Can You Perform That My Regular Vet Can’t?

Your primary care veterinarian can perform routine procedures such as standard dental cleanings and extractions. However, there are many advanced procedures that they may not perform. Here at Veterinary Dental Services, we offer:

Sick dog lying on table in vet clinic

What Should I Expect When I Bring My Pet in for a Consultation?

Consultation visits are scheduled for 45 minutes. During that time, your pet will have an oral exam with one of our doctors and a veterinary technician or assistant. Based on that oral exam the doctor will discuss his or her findings with you and the different treatment options available for your pet. The doctor will be sure to answer all of your questions and address any concerns. A treatment plan, including a cost estimate, will be discussed after the doctor has examined your pet. Home care will be reviewed including tooth brushing, chews, treats, water additives, rinses and appropriate toys to maintain your pet’s oral health.

A brown and white jack russell terrier with head tilted

Can I Stay With My Pet During the Procedure?

You are welcome to wait in our client lounge on the day of your pet’s procedure. We have television, WiFi, comfortable seating, and a desk. If you prefer an outing to help pass the time, we’ll be happy to share information about the local area including historical sights, library, restaurants, etc., and we’ll be in touch by phone if any questions arise, or to provide updates.


What Should I Bring to the Appointment?

Bring a list of medications your pet is taking, including dosage and frequency. We will ask about any other medical issues your pet is having. If your pet has had any recent blood work please have your veterinarian’s office email us the results. Proof of rabies vaccination is required. You can bring this certificate with you or have your vet email a copy prior to the appointment. This is very important, because without proof of a current rabies vaccine, we cannot see your pet.

How Long Will My Pet Be There?

Your pet will be here for the whole day. Most patients are admitted between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m. and are discharged around 5:30 p.m. If your pet is ready to be discharged earlier, we are happy to send them home. In some cases, patients are discharged later in the day. We do not keep patients here overnight, as we do not have 24-hour staffing and believe that patients have a better recovery in the comfort of their own home. If the doctor feels that your pet needs overnight care, we will refer to your primary care veterinarian’s office. If your veterinarian does not provide overnight care, we will locate a facility that does. It is extremely rare that we recommend overnight care.