Q: Who should I seek first to see a dog that needs extensive dental work?

Original Question: "Inheriting a 12 1/2 year Bichon Shih Tzu who needs extensive dental work. I live in Streetsville (Mississauga) area. Can you recommend a vet who specializes in dental for older dogs? She does not have any medical problems. Thank you in advance." - Jane

Vet Certified Answer | Answered: June 10, 2017

Hi Jane,

Most general practice veterinarians are trained to address a majority of common dental problems, regardless of age of the patient. Most of these older dogs are in need a cleaning and possibly some extractions. I would first recommend a visit to your family veterinarian for an assessment. If there are special circumstances, they may recommend you visit a specialist who is trained in things like root canals, crowns, and more advanced procedures. Many specialists require a referral from your regular veterinarian anyway. To see what specialists are in your area, you can visit the American Veterinary Dental College website here:

I wish you guys all the best,

Dr. Ryan Llera

Disclaimer: and its team of veterinarians does not endorse any products or services mentioned. Advice presented by our veterinarians is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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