Competencies in Dentistry and Oral Surgery for Small Companion Animals

European Veterinary Dental Society (EVDS) and European Veterinary Dental College (EVDC)

Joint EVDS/EVDC Statement on Clinical Competencies in Small Companion Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery

Veterinarians must possess scientific knowledge and be able to demonstrate practical skills in order to perform basic diagnostic and treatment procedures in veterinary dentistry and oral surgery, independently, at the time of graduation. At a minimum, veterinary graduates must be competent in providing entry-level dental and oral health care for small companion animals. The veterinary university/school/college must provide training for students to meet day-1 and for veterinarians to meet year-1 and year-3 competencies in small companion animal dentistry and oral surgery. Academic institutions that provide evidence for offering appropriate learning and continuing education opportunities in that regard may – upon thorough review of these opportunities – be awarded an endorsement by EVDS/EVDC. The endorsement will require reassessment at 3-year intervals.

Day-1 Competencies in Dentistry and Oral Surgery (for Small Companion Animals)

  • Obtain a history for a dentistry and oral surgery patient
  • Perform an oral examination in a conscious and anaesthetized patient
  • Distinguish between normal and abnormal oral and maxillofacial anatomy
  • Utilize nomenclature accepted in dentistry and oral surgery
  • Use the modified Triadan system for numbering teeth
  • Identify and name normal anatomical structures on a dental radiograph Interpret and fill out an oral examination assessment form
  • Demonstrate the use of a dental explorer, periodontal probe, and dental mirror
  • Perform a professional dental cleaning with scaling and polishing
  • Explain and demonstrate home oral care/hygiene measures
  • Recognise and relieve pain in dentistry and oral surgery patients
  • Understand the rational use of antibiotics in dentistry and oral surgery
  • Know when and how to refer a dentistry and oral surgery patient to a specialist

Year-1 Competencies in Dentistry and Oral Surgery (in Addition to Day-1 Competencies for Small Companion Animals)

  • Understand the most common oral and maxillofacial disorders
  • Formulate a diagnostic/therapeutic plan for a dentistry and oral surgery patient
  • Name and hold basic instruments used in dentistry and oral surgery
  • Perform infraorbital and inferior alveolar nerve blocks
  • Identify normal anatomical features and common abnormalities on dental radiographs
  • Perform closed periodontal therapy with root planing and gingival curettage
  • Extract teeth using closed techniques with and without tooth sectioning
  • Create tension-free periodontal flaps for closure of extraction sites
  • Obtain an oral biopsy for cytological and histological examination
  • Perform an oral examination in rabbits and other non-feline/non-canine small mammals
  • Know the most common oral disorders in rabbits and other non-feline/non-canine small mammals

Year-3 Competencies in Dentistry and Oral Surgery (in Addition to Day-1 and Year-1 Competencies for Small Companion Animals)

  • Perform maxillary, major palatine, and middle mental nerve blocks
  • Obtain dental radiographs using parallel and bisecting angle techniques
  • Identify and correct the most common dental radiographic errors and artifacts
  • Know the indications for the use of advanced diagnostic imaging modalities in dentistry and oral surgery
  • Interpret normal oral and maxillofacial anatomy and abnormalities on computed tomography images
  • Perform open periodontal therapy including mucoperiosteal flap management
  • Execute gingivectomy/gingivoplasty procedures in patients with gingival enlargement
  • Extract teeth in an open manner with flap elevation and alveolar bone removal
  • Close large extraction sites and oronasal fistulae by means of tension-free flaps
  • Perform clinical crown reduction in lagomorphs and rodents with tooth elongation
  • Know basic techniques for extraction of incisors and cheek teeth in lagomorphs and rodents