20 years ago, there was little training and education for veterinary dental technicians but in 1988 a group of veterinary surgeons with an interest in veterinary dentistry founded the British Veterinary Dental Association (BVDA). BVDA promotes teaching, practice and research. It also offers practical postgraduate training courses. Every year members of BVDA come together in a scientific meeting to discuss veterinary papers and individual cases and learn of any further medical sciences able to further help veterinary dentistry. Being part of the BVDA is very beneficial from a learning point of view as you can go on courses to further help your career and practical learning is the only way to learn.
By joining the BVDA not only will you learn of any new advances in veterinary medicine but also discounted or sometimes get free course to further help your career. The BDVA will also send you a quarterly newsletter keeping you up to date with news and dental cases. Membership for a veterinary dental technician is only £50 a year and this entitles you to discounted courses should you wish to continue learning.
Veterinary dental technicians are most commonly needed to carry out corrective or routine checks on horses. You have to be fully qualified and experience is a major factor if you want to set up your own private company. With so many farms all over the UK, dental technicians are desperately needed to help horses with oral hygiene. A healthy and happy pain free horse will ensure a longer life span and healthy teeth is very important.
Of course cats and dogs are also high on the list when needing dental work and in most cases they will need to be anaesthetised. Gum disease occurs in 80% of dogs and 70% of cats before the age of three and with correct dental treatment they can easily live a longer and healthy life. Dental fractures are common in dogs and require urgent attention to avoid abscess. Most treatments that are available to man are also available to pets such as root canal treatment, bridges and crowns. Although veterinary dental technicians with a broad knowledge of veterinary dental procedure are hard to find, your dentist will be able to refer pets nationwide if requested.
Oral tumours are also a common problem with dogs but are rare with cats due to owners not noticing the early signs and sometimes they cannot be treated successfully. Not all tumours are cancerous though with some turning out to be benign but sometimes the cat or dog is left with non healing ulcers making recover slow and painful.
With so many specialties in veterinary dentistry veterinary, dental technicians are very important and with so many courses and practical learning available successful careers are possible if you wish to follow that path.