Dr. John Scheels - Exotic Animal Dentistry Dr. John Scheels - Exotic Animal Dentistry
Dr. John Scheels - Exotic Animal Dentistry Dr. John Scheels - Exotic Animal Dentistry
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This is a list of fundamental resources and references that Dr. Scheels uses to prepare for exotic dentistry cases.

  • American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV)
  • Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry. Membership will provide access to the most comprehensive collection of veterinary dentistry information. The publication is primarily focused on small animals, dogs and cats but also often has excellent information on other species. The annual conferences and proceedings are also excellent.
  • A Colour Atlas of Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery, by Peter Kertesz, Wolfe Publishing/Mosby Year Book, Europe LTD, 1993
  • Colyers Variations and Diseases of the Teeth of Animals, by Sir Frank Colyer (original edition 1936) Revised Edition by AEW Miles and Carloline Grigson, Cambridge University Press, 1990
  • Equine Dentistry, Third Edition, Editors Jack Easley, Padraic M. Dixon, James Schumacher, Saunders, 2010 (New edition since)
  • Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
  • Mammal Evolution, by RJG Savage, MR Long, Facts on File and The British Museum (Natural History), 1986
  • Mammal Teeth, Origin, Evolution and Diversity, by Peter S. Ungar, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2010
  • Medicine and Surgery of South American Camelids, Llamas, Alpaca, Vicuna, Guanaco, by Murray E Fowler, Iowa State University Press, 1989
  • Small Animal Dentistry, by Colin E Harvey and Peter Emily, Mosby, 1993
  • Teeth, by Simon Hillson, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, Cambridge University Press, 1st Edition 1986, 2nd 2005
  • The Mammalian Radiations, an Analysis of Trends in Evolution, Adaptation and Behavior, by John F Eisenberg, The University of Chicago Press, 1981
  • The Ultimate Ungulate Page
  • Veterinary Dentistry, Colin E Harvey, WB Saunders Co., 1985
  • Veterinary Dentistry, Principles and Practice, Robert B Wiggs and Heidi B Loprise, Lippincott-Raven, 1997 (1st Ed)
  • The proceedings of the 1986, 1989, 1991 and 2002 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conferences. There are available on CD-Rom several AAZV annual conferences. Attendees were provided these CD-Roms. These conferences proceedings each included up to 20 or more papers that were presented. They include the entire range of zoo dentistry and still serve as valid, basic procedure references.
  • ZOODENT International

Reference Articles:

  • Topic: There are many papers that discuss FORL, Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions. The AVDS archives have several and an internet search will provide more. The author has encountered these lesions on tigers and snow leopards, successfully treating them with amalgam restorations. The amalgam restorations halted the process, whereas composite restorations did not as well.
    • The early paper by Gengler and Dubielzig describes the lesions well:
      "Physical Examination and Radiographic Analysis to detect Dental and Mandibular Bone Resorption: A Study of 81 Cases from Necropsy", WR Gengler, RR Dubielzig and J Ramer, JVD, 1995
    • "Radiographic Evaluation and Treatment of Feline Dental Resorptive Lesions", Greg A. Dupont, Veterinary Clinics of North America, Small Animal Practice, 08/2005; 35(4): 043-962.
    • "Etiopahtogenesis of Feline Dental Resorptive Lesions", Ayako Okuda, Colin Harvey, Veterinary Clinics of North America, Small Animal Practice, 12/1992; 22(6):1385-1404.
  • Topic: The "delta" foramina anatomy found in all carnivore teeth is described in several papers. This anatomy presents challenges in debridement, disinfection and obturation. The conventional, oblique, coronal approach is not always sufficient to successfully treat these teeth. Often a retrograde, surgical approach is required to successfully treat. A thorough understanding of this anatomy is necessary to provide endodontic treatment for carnivores. See the Endodontics Section. These are early papers describing the delta foramina:
    • "Endodontic Therapy for Canine Teeth in the Dog", Donald L Ross DVM and John W Myers, DDS, JAVMA, Vol. 157, no. 11, pp 1713-1718, 1970
    • "Endodontics in Veterinary Medicine", David J Gamm DDS, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, St. Louis, Vol. 66, no. 3, PP 372-377, Sept., 1988
    • Apical Root Canal and Anatomy in the Dog, Eric Masson, Phillipe R Hennet, Paul Calas, Endodontics and Dental Traumatology 07/1992; 8(3):109-12
    • Apical Root Canal Anatomy of Canine Teeth in Cats, PR Hennet, CE Harvey, American Journal of Veterinary Research, 12/1996; 57(11):1545-8
    • Prevalence and Morphologic Features of Apical Deltas in the Canine Teeth of Dogs, David J. Gamm, DDS, MS; Paul E. Howard, DVM, MS; Harmeer Walia, BDS, MDS; Daniel J. Nenka, DDS.
    • Results of Root Canal Treatment in Dogs: 127 cases (1995-2000), Helena Kuntsi-Vaattovaara, DVM; Frank J.M. Verstraete, DrMedVet, DAVDC; Philip H. Kass, DVM, PhD, DACVPM
    • Related Links:


Radiolucent Mouth Prop for Dogs and Cats

NOTICE: Veterinarians have used spring-loaded mouth "gags" in cats and dogs for many years. However, the spring-loaded devices are no longer recommended. A study published in THE VETERINARY JOURNAL (2014) showed that the spring-loaded "gags" generating constant force contributes to bulging of the soft tissues between the mandible and the tympanic bulla in cats. This force leads to the compression of the maxillary arteries as they course through the osseous structures. In cats the maxillary arteries are the main source of blood supply to the retinae and brain.

Reduction of the blood flow can result in temporary or permanent blindness and neurologic abnormalities. Spring-loaded "gags" constant force can also cause jaw muscle strain and injury to the temporomandibular joints.

It is recommended to use "static" mouth props such as the WEDGE. Be sure to not open the jaw to its maximum to avoid muscle strain and temporomandibular joint injury.

Dr. John Scheels - Exotic Animal Dentistry 

The WEDGE® is a one-piece, radiolucent mouth prop. The patented, anatomic design holds the carnivore mouth open during anesthesia by securely engaging the premolars and molars.

Dr. John Scheels - Exotic Animal Dentistry


Dr. John Scheels - Exotic Animal Dentistry 

Developed and patented by Dr. John L. Scheels, dental consultant to the Milwaukee County Zoo, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.

"The (Scheels) Veterinary mouth prop's biggest asset is its simplicity - open the mouth and stick it in!...it does not interfere with radiographic detail, can be ultrasounded, and autoclaved...can be used for dental and oral surgery procedures...is positioned within the mouth, unlike the spring loaded (extra-oral) devices which can be in the way of the operator and interfere with positioning the patient..."

~ Paul E. Howard, D.V.M.,

Vermont Veterinary Surgical Center, Burlington, Vermont.

Order The WEDGE® from any of these veterinary equipment suppliers:


Large Volume Veterinary Endodontic Syringe™

Click here for more details
Dr. John Scheels - Exotic Animal Dentistry 
Dr. John Scheels - Exotic Animal Dentistry 

An endodontic syringe developed by Dr. John Scheels specifically for veterinary use in all species for complete and consistent obturation of root canals over 30mm long or with large pulp chambers. It permits the positive deposition of endodontic sealer and filler pastes at the apex of these long teeth. NO SPECIAL NEEDLES are required as it may be used with any standard size hub. Plastic, metal, threaded or non-threaded needle hubs will seal well on the tapered syringe nipple.

Purchase from Shipp's