This study aimed to survey and analyze the profile of experimental dental research in animals, verifying its trends. We evaluated studies developed with the use of animals in vivo, published in 10 dental journals with high impact factors, from 2015 to 2020. From 1652 studies retrieved, 594 involved in vivo experimentation on animals and were analyzed further. Rats were the species most used and with the highest mean of animals per study. Ferrets, although presenting the lowest rate of publications, had the second highest mean of animals per study. Periodontics was the dental specialty with the highest number of publications, while oral rehabilitation had the lowest number. The data on the institution responsible for reviewing animal research protocols approval, sample size, anesthesia and analgesia were provided in 93.10%, 83%, 70.54% and 23.74% of studies, respectively. In 53% of studies, euthanasia was specified and anesthetic overdose was the method most used. Over the period analyzed, there was a reduction in animal studies in vivo, and periodontics was the specialty that most used this experimental model. Although most studies mentioned approval by an ethics committee, some publications neglected to mention sample size, anesthesia and euthanasia. The omission of essential information may raise scientific and ethical concerns.