Apex Dog and Cat Dentistry
945 W. Jefferson Ave.
Englewood, CO 80110
(303) 810-6029
[email protected]

The Goal of Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery

All dogs and cats can get dental disease. In fact, about 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three years already have some form of periodontal disease. Other common oral conditions in our pets include broken teeth, fractured jaws, oral tumors, and orthodontic misalignments. It is important to address dental disease because it can be painful and cause bad breath in pets. More importantly, disease in the mouth can potentially spread to problems elsewhere in the body.

Ultimately, the goal of the veterinary dental specialist is to provide comfort to the patient while at the same time eliminating infection, promoting normal mouth function, and improving the overall quality-of-life.

What is the AVDC?

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

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 oral surgery, medicine and dentistry, a wide range of special treatment options can be implemented. Veterinary Dental Specialists identify and treat periodontal disease, perform root canals, and place metal crowns in addition to many other advanced treatments.

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 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 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.