The performance of veterinary dentistry and oral medicine and surgery is part of the practice of veterinary medicine and is regarded as such under state veterinary practice acts. Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of animals' teeth and all other aspects of oral health care in animals. Veterinary dentistry is a function of veterinary practice because it requires diagnosis and treatment, and, to be fully effective, demands extensive knowledge of anatomy, anesthesiology, pharmacology, physiology, pathology, radiology, neurology, medicine, and surgery that is part of the graduate veterinarian's training. Veterinary health-care workers may be allowed to perform certain dental procedures under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian in accordance with state regulations.
The practice of veterinary dentistry and oral medicine and surgery is, therefore, to be performed by veterinarians in accordance with their state veterinary practice acts. Veterinary health-care workers may be allowed to perform certain non-invasive, non-surgical oral and dental procedures under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian in accordance with state regulations.As with other areas of veterinary practice, veterinary dentistry requires a veterinarian-client-patient relationship to protect the health, safety, and welfare of animals.
1 Excerpt from AAEP Position on Equine Dentistry (2012) www.aaep.org, used with permission.