We had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Jan Bellows, a board certified veterinary dentist, to learn more about his start in the industry, his success with VETIGEL, and more. Read the full interview below.
Dr. Bellows, what got you interested in becoming a board-certified veterinary dentist?
In 1986, I went to a hands-on continuing education seminar in Vero beach Florida, which was about three hours, from where I practiced.
The seminar was given by a veterinarian who was also a human dentist and practice both human dentistry and veterinary medicine. I had a general practice at the time- I would examine my patient’s mouths but I didn't pay much attention to dental disease. But because of this, I saw that virtually every one of my patients needed immediate dental care and I needed to learn more about how to take care of it. so it was more patient generated.
Fortunately, in our shopping Center next door, there was a human dentist who had a love for animals and took me under his wing teaching me a lot about dentistry. The more and more I got into it, the more and more I saw how I was helping my patients through dentistry.
What is your favorite part of being a board-certified dentist?
Helping other veterinarians understand dentistry better. And that will translate to many more patients being helped. We are a helping community.
How is what you do, similar to and different from what general practice veterinarians do?
Most veterinary schools have very little dental education unfortunately. Students are being taught by the surgeons or veterinarians that have a special interest in veterinary dentistry.. So some veterinary students get out of school with little dental education. A majority of our practice is similar to general veterinary dental practice concentrating on periodontal disease. We also provide treatment for fractured teeth , oral maxillofacial surgery for tumors, orthodontic problems.
What are the toughest cases that you see on a regular basis? What are those anomalies that you get occasionally?
Well, the most challenging cases often are tumors that have gone too far. Dogs and cats unfortunately don't speak, they can't talk and tell their owners that they’ve got a lump underneath their tongue. Additionally repairing traumatic jaw fractures can be challanging, and rewarding for the patient and client.
What hemostatic agents have you previously used in the past?
We used mostly Bleed X and we also used a trauma gel.
When you started using VETIGEL, did you notice that it was different from these other ones that you’ve used?
I place VETIGEL on bleeding areas and have my assistant place it into all extraction sites. When we extract a tooth, there is some expected bleeding, but it would it be nice if there was less. That’s why we use VETIGEL.
I found BleedX hard to use due to the applicator. It was difficult to specifically put it where we needed it and then place gauze on top of that, and pressure. VETIGEL just flows where I want it to go.
Do you like using VETIGEL?
I like it. I don't know if I like it because I'm saving time or because it really works or because it's less messy, but I like it.
Would you recommend VETIGEL to another veterinarian?
I’d highly recommend VETIGEL to anybody. Because it works.
Is there anything else that you'd like to share about using VETIGEL?
We have figured out a way to recoup our expenses for VETIGEL. With every extraction, we have an extraction package that charges for the local anesthetic and charges for the hemostatic agent. And I've never had a client say, “No just let it bleed.”
Interested in trying VETIGEL in your veterinary practice? Create an account to get access to the hemostatic gel that Dr. Jan Bellows highly recommends.