Comments invited on proposed equine dental specialty

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Veterinarian examining a horses teeth
The American Veterinary Dental College says general practitioners and owners are more aware of the importance of high-quality dental services for horses.

The AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties has received a petition for recognition of an Equine Veterinary Dental specialty under the auspices of the American Veterinary Dental College, which has been an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization since 1988. In compliance with ABVS policies and procedures for recognition of a new recognized veterinary specialty under an existing RVSO, the ABVS is seeking comment from the public and the profession.

The AVDC first petitioned the ABVS in January 2012 to begin the process for recognition of the Equine Veterinary Dental specialty. The AVDC submitted a formal petition for recognition of the specialty to the ABVS Committee on the Development of New Specialties in November 2012.

The AVDC and the ad hoc Equine Specialty Development Committee of the AVDC, Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, European Veterinary Dental College, and International College of Equine Veterinary Odontology believe that equine dentistry has become a distinct and identifiable specialty as a veterinary dental discipline steeped in literature and research, but with only a small number of veterinarians qualified to perform specialist-level clinical service. The proposed specialty seeks to eliminate this deficiency in veterinary dentistry.

The petition also states that equine practitioners and horse owners have become more aware of the importance of oral health and high-quality dental services. With an increasingly interested AVDC member body and a supportive veterinary and public sector, the AVDC says the time is right to establish an equine dental specialty.

The petition estimates 25 veterinarians would be interested in pursuing formal training and certification in the AVDC equine dental specialty within the first three years of recognition.

The AVMA recognizes 22 RVSOs, and of those, seven have at least one RVS.

AVMA-recognized specialty organizations and specialties comply with recognition guidelines outlined in the ABVS Policies and Procedures Manual, available online at

Individuals are advised to refer to the recognition guidelines when developing and submitting comments regarding the proposed Equine Veterinary Dental specialty. Signed comments must be received no later than Sept. 1 and should be sent to David Banasiak, AVMA Education and Research Division, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360, or via email at dbanasiakatavma [dot] org (dbanasiak[at]avma[dot]org). Questions regarding the recognition guidelines or the proposed new specialty may be directed to Banasiak via email or by phone, (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6677.

For more information about this proposed specialty, visit and click on “AVDC Petition to ABVS to Recognize an Equine Veterinary Dental Specialty.”