Dental hacks to make every case more manageable

Downtown Charlotte, NC

Jan Bellows, DVM, DAVDC, DABVP, FAVD, shared tips for making any dentistry case easier with hacks presented in alphabetical style at the Fetch Charlotte conference

Jan Bellows, DVM, DAVDC, DABVP, FAVD, for his keynote presentation at the Fetch Charlotte Conference.

Jan Bellows, DVM, DAVDC, DABVP, FAVD, for his keynote presentation at the Fetch Charlotte Conference.

Jan Bellows, DVM, DAVDC, DABVP, FAVD, has been specializing in veterinary dentistry for almost 50 years, but for those who are not as confident, Bellows shared his top hacks for simplifying dental cases for any veterinary professional. In his keynote presentation at the Fetch dvm360® conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, sponsored by Basepaws, Bellows presented in alphabetical style with tips that start with the letter A, all the way to Z.

Here’s a highlight of some points Bellows made in his keynote:

D is for…

Dental wipes vs. tooth brushing.

Do not waste time with finger toothbrushes.

Bellows said, “The 2 wipes that I recommend are the Oral Cleansing Wipes by Addison Biologics and the Vetradent wipes.” Successfully brushing a pet’s teeth is a struggle for many clients and Bellows recognizes this struggle. He stated, “Tooth brushing is a great idea. It's the gold standard, but virtually no one can pull it off.” Bellows also mentions that most of the time tooth brushing is not a Fear Free experience for the pet. Dental wipes offer a gentler experience and Bellows recommends giving a high value treat afterwards.

Bellows stated that rubber toothbrushes that fit on your finger are a waste of time for dental health. “All you are doing is pushing the plaque around and not removing any plaque. So don't waste your time on this.”

V is for…


Bellows stated that he uses ventilators for every procedure and that they are particularly helpful for the anesthesia portion of the procedure. He recommends using the Digicare Animal Health ventilators.

M is for…

Methadone and monitoring.

“Vet methadone is for animals that you got to do painful procedures, if you are going to take out teeth, it’s fabulous. They go down so easily they come up, and it really helps them with pain.” After using methadone, Bellows advises attendees that close monitoring must follow. Adverse events usually happen in the cage after a procedure, so it is important to monitor the patient during this time.

Check out all of Dr Jan Bellows’ tips in select print issues of our dvm360 magazine.


Bellows J. Dental Hacks A to Zebra. Presented at Fetch dvm360® conference; Charlotte, North Carolina. March 24-26, 2023.

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