212 Rusden Street, Armidale, NSW 2350
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Pet Dentistry

Pet Dentistry

NEVS has a strong focus on dentistry, which is a good thing considering 70% of pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease!

From preventatives, through to oral exams, through to cleaning, treatment and restoration NEVS is the clinic for your pet’s oral health!

Preventatives include:

  • Tooth brushing:  the gold standard for plaque prevention (just like us!), but it can involve training your pet to accept a brush.  Tasty pet-friendly toothpastes can help, but sometimes cats will enjoy gnawing on a toothbrush dipped in broth or treat.  Done daily, tooth brushing greatly reduces the chances of your pet accumulating plaque
  • Zinc-based Wipes and Gels eg. Maxigard:  These additives soften plaque when used regularly (daily to weekly) and help the mechanics of chewing to remove plaque buildup.  They’re quick and easy to use as well!
  • Dental chews:  There are tons on the market, and the best have the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Approval.  From Oravet, to Dentastix, to Bell & Bone Dental Chews through to Kong Dental Chews there’s a variety of flavours and textures for your pet.
  • Dental Diets:  Specially formulated biscuits that are larger than normal to engage chewing, and also have a special matrix that abrades the tooth gently as chewing occurs.  These can be really effective, but often miss the canines as those teeth aren’t involved in active chewing (being grab and hold teeth).
  • In-water Additives:  Convenient and less work, however the aren’t as good as the more ‘hands-on’ treatments.  They won’t hurt but have limitations on efficacy based on water intake and degradation within the water over time.
  • Bones/Antlers/Hooves:  Natural dental chews are utilised widely and aren’t all bad; they are very effective at keeping teeth clean and also providing a lot of environmental enrichment.  However their hardness does mean that tooth fracture is a very real risk when using these items, as well as obstruction and even constipation in some dogs.  You need to weigh up if the risk is worth the benefit to your pet when using these items.
  • What about cats?  As cats are generally a little less, ahem, cooperative with treatments dental diets are often well accepted.  Other options include freeze-thawed raw meat strips that require your cat to scissor chew through, making them use all their teeth.  


If you’re lucky enough to have a cooperative pet, and even if you don’t we still recommend yearly dental checks.  Yearly dental checks can identify early dental problems – the best time to catch them!  Early plaque prevention or even dental cleaning means you keep your pet’s teeth in great condition.  Why is this important?  Because chewing is a soothing behaviour in a lot of dogs, and some teeth such as the canine and carnassial teeth (large scissoring teeth) provide a lot of strength to the bones of the jaw so it is ideal to keep these teeth wherever possible.  Once teeth are extracted and the opposing tooth is no longer used it is at risk of developing dental disease at an accelerated rate, and so we tend to see a snowballing effect without active preventative use (such as brushing or Maxigard wipes).

For some puppies, developmental issues can create problems.  Overbite and under bite can lead to malocclusion of the teeth and result in teeth piercing the palate or gums creating pain, headshy-ness and even aggression.  Oral checks during puppy vaccinations, or even if you notice any of the above can lead to early interventions that improve quality of life and may even allow for corrective growth of impinged jaws (dental interlock), or redirection of deviated canines.

Cats over the age of 2 years are at increased risk of developing Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORLs), which are defects in the structure of the tooth with no known definitive cause.  Often these teeth are exceptionally painful and require extraction.  You may noticed food dropping, jaw chattering when eating, pink dots on the teeth near the gum line, or bleeding from the mouth. 

Emma has undergone further training in dentistry to provide NEVS patients with the options of:

  • Enamel defect restoration
  • Crown reduction and Vital Pulp Capping
  • Crown Extension for deviated canines
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration for Gingival Recession 

Bridgette is our nurse with a special interest in dentistry as well, and you’ll be able to find her to discuss preventatives, post-treatment management as well as performing dental checks for your pets.   All NEVS staff have undergone further theoretical and practical training in dentistry to make NEVS the best team for your pet’s dentistry.  

Dental health is really important!  Don’t wait for your pet to stop eating to tell you their mouth is sore – that’s making them choose starvation over pain.  Pets will eat with dental abscesses, fractured teeth and even broken jaws!  If you notice your pet has dirty teeth, bad breath or refuses hard foods then it’s time to book in for a dental check with us!