A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Dentist

A white dog with black ears rests chin on floor and looks at camera

A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Dentist

At Animal Dental Care & Oral Surgery in Fort Collins, we have a dedicated team ready to care for all of your pet’s needs. Today, we want to give you a glimpse of a day in the life of a veterinary dentist.


A Morning as a Vet Dentist


7:45 am – Our days start bright and early at 7:45 am when the whole team meets to discuss the day ahead. This is when we go over the surgery patients of the day and discuss the medical history, planned surgery, and specific needs for each patient. Each surgery patient is assigned a Registered Veterinary Technician who will be with them throughout the whole day and the order of procedures is decided based on the patient’s needs.

8:00 am – Patients begin to arrive, and surgery patients are admitted. We also see patients for consultations and recheck exams during this time. All of our patients have a consultation appointment before surgery. Sometimes this occurs on the same day, but most patients return for surgery a few days to a week after their consultation. The patient is examined during the consultation, and their medical and dental history and concerns are discussed. A treatment plan is made for the patient at this time. All our surgery patients also have a recheck exam two weeks after surgery to be sure they’re healing well.


Dr. Redman examining a medium sized brown dog

Dr. Redman Examining Patient


Surgical Appointments


10:00 am – After appointments are finished for the day, it’s time to get ready for surgery. All surgical patients have a bloodwork panel run before surgery if they haven’t had recent bloodwork done by their primary veterinarian. Each patient is given an injection in the muscle of a sedative to make the transition to anesthesia as smooth and safe as possible. Once they’re a bit sleepy, an intravenous catheter is placed to facilitate giving drugs and fluids during anesthesia. The patient is put under anesthesia with an injection through their IV catheter and once asleep, an endotracheal tube is placed to protect the patient’s airway and provide oxygen and gas anesthetic.


Diagnostic Imaging


Once the patient is under anesthesia, a cone beam CT scan is performed. While the Veterinary Dentist reviews the CT images, a technician takes intraoral dental x-rays. Next, the Veterinary Dentist does an anesthetized oral exam and numbs any area where there will be oral surgery. A veterinary technician scales and polishes the teeth while the Veterinary Dentist speaks to the patient’s family to go over the final treatment plan.


Dr. Redman looks at a screen where she reviews a CT scan

Dr. Redman Reviewing a CT


A technician in blue scrubs performing a dental cleaning on a brown, sedated dog

Our Technician, Rachel, Performing a Dental Cleaning


Post-Surgery Instructions


After the cleaning is finished, surgery is performed. After surgery, medical records and discharge instructions are written. Once patients are awake and recovered from anesthesia, they are sent home with thorough instructions about what to expect after anesthesia and surgery, medications that are prescribed and information on feeding and chewing while the surgical sites are healing. Throughout the day, we also communicate with pet owners and referring veterinarians about test results and treatment recommendations.

Once all the surgery patients are safely home with their families, this completes a day in the life of a veterinary dentist! 


Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels