What does the Veterinary Dental Specialist do?

Board certified veterinary dental specialists are trained to evaluate genetic as well as acquired problems. Advanced diagnostics, including dental radiology and laboratory evaluations, allow proper
diagnosis of the oral health and related medical problems prior to treatment planning.

Since the veterinary dental specialist is trained in surgery, medicine and dentistry, a wide range of special treatment options can be implemented.

Patients with oral health problems usually require general anesthesia for evaluation and treatment. Veterinary dental specialists receive extensive training in the safe and effective use of anesthesia and pain management.

AVDC diplomates are prepared to implement appropriate therapeutic programs to improve oral health and the general wellness of their patients.

What is the AVDC?

The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) was established in 1988. The College is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as the certifying organization for specialists in veterinary dentistry.

The AVDC is committed to progress in veterinary dentistry by promoting continuing education programs for its members and veterinarians that are interested in developing and maintaining their techniques and skills in veterinary dentistry. New knowledge, instrumentation and techniques continually develop, and Diplomates of the AVDC stay focused on these events and are often the leaders in development of state-of-the-art techniques in the veterinary dental field.

The AVDC believes that quality dental care for animals promotes increased longevity, decreases pain, and results in an improved quality of life for pets. For further information visit the
AVDC web site at:

What is a Board Certified Veterinary Specialist?

The increased sophistication of veterinary medicine and increasingly important role of pets in our society has resulted in the emergence of a number of veterinary specialties comparable to those in human medicine (e.g., cardiologist, radiologists, surgeons, internists, dermatologists and dentists). Dentistry is one of more than 20 specialties currently recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Specialty certification requires completing 3 to 6 years of training in the area of specialization beyond the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Requirements vary among individual “specialty colleges” but all candidates must pass advanced credential requirements approved by the AVMA. In addition to comprehensive training in the area of expertise, a veterinarian must submit credentials of expertise to a review board in the specialty college. Following acceptance of the credentials, an extensive written and practical examination must be successfully completed before being acknowledged as a specialist.

When these requirements have been met, the applicant is then designated as a “Board Certified Specialist” or “Diplomate” of the respective specialty college. Veterinary dentistry specialty candidates who complete this process can then use the well-earned titles, Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, Board Certified Veterinary Dentist, Veterinary Dentist and Veterinary Dental Specialist.

Veterinary Dental Services

Specialists in veterinary dentistry can offer many advanced treatments including:

Endodontics: Treatment of fractured teeth/pulpitis, pulp exposure, root canals, crown reductions and tooth abscesses.

Periodontics: Treatment of periodontal disease, tooth scaling and polishing, root planing, mucogingival surgery and guided tissue and bone regeneration. Orthodontics: Correction of common malocclusions, orthodontic appliances, bite evaluations, and genetic counseling.

Restorations: Cast metal crowns, fillings, esthetic bonding, bridges and implants.

Dental Radiology: Permanent tooth assessment for puppies, dental disease, oral tumors, fractures and TMJ evaluation.

Oral Surgery: Difficult extractions, jaw fractures, palate defects, oronasal fistulas, oral tumors, and dislocated teeth.

Oral Diseases: Oral manifestations of systemic disease, gingivostomatitis, feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions and oral autoimmune disorders.