About The Foundation

Who We Are

WHO WE ARE A group of individuals who are passionate about veterinary dentistry whether that is a dog with a broken tooth, a rabbit with a dental abscess, a horse with a painful bite, or a tiger with a tooth ache.

These individuals, donors, and contributors to our foundation desire to make oral health a priority in relieving animal suffering, improving the quality of life for all living creatures, and advancing the art and science of veterinary dentistry.

Our contributors and subscribers are veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, practice managers, industry leaders, vendors, philanthropists, wildlife biologists, researchers, and pet owners.

Why does the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry exist?

There is a significant need. Animals are suffering from dental disease.


A 2016 study revealed that from respondents from 35 veterinary schools in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, only 12 of these schools have a board-certified veterinary dentists at the time of the survey. There was an 86% response rate. During the first 3 years of veterinary school more than 72% of respondents noted that less than 9 hours of dentistry are taught in the curriculum with 43% receiving less than 4 hours on veterinary dentistry. More than 50% get less than 4 hours hands on in the first 3 years of veterinary school.

Almost a quarter of the veterinary colleges did not have a required dental rotation prior to graduation. The study concluded that “data demonstrates there is lack of curricular time dedicated to dental education in veterinary schools, suggesting the need for veterinary schools to address the issue of veterinary dental education.

By graduation, new veterinarians should have acquired the needed knowledge and skills to meet both societal demands and professional expectations.” (1) It is easy to see why the Foundation of Veterinary Dentistry was founded, first as an Education Fund of world’s oldest veterinary dental organization, the American Veterinary Dental Society, then becoming an independent 501 3c charitable foundation in 2007.

In 2016, the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry became the uniting force to finally bring under its umbrella public education, outreach, student chapters, student wet-labs, scholarships, fundraising, the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, research grants, continuing education through the Annual Veterinary Dental Forum, and community service projects of the AVDS, Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, and the American Veterinary Dental College.

Why is Veterinary Dentistry Important?

Animal Dentistry has been practiced since 600 B.C. as evidenced in horse archeology in China. Simon of Athens described aging horses and eruption times in “The Veterinary Art, Inspection of Horses.” Aristotle in his book, History of Animals, described periodontal disease in animals. The Greek scholars wrote papers on dental anatomy and diseases of animals. Beginning in equine patients and gaining attention in companion animals like dogs and cats, veterinary dentistry has been an important part of the well-being of all creatures. Astute owners will notice when pet’s behavior changes with a tooth ache or a fractured tooth. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, can cause pain, redness, swelling, halitosis, and eventual loss of teeth (2,3).

The following information leading to modern veterinary dentistry was provided by the Pierre Fauchard Academy:

“The 1762 founding of the first veterinary dental school in Lvon, France proved to be the first step in the most recent movement and explosion of veterinary dental knowledge (2). The first veterinary dental text was published in 1889, and soon to follow were books published in 1905 and 1938 (2). These books began to include techniques not only in equine dentistry, but in small animal dentistry as well. In Vienna, Joseph Bodingbauer proved to be a pioneer in small animal dentistry during the 1930’s. In 1929 a series of detailed papers was provided by Arthur Mellenby which included information about the effects of dietary changes on developing dentition and dental diseases of canines.

In the United States, movement in the field of small animal dentistry came much later. The first organized veterinary dental organization was the American Veterinary Dental Society in 1976.

As more and more practitioners grew acquainted with this new field of veterinary medicine, an Academy of Veterinary Dentistry was formed in 1987.” In 1988, The American Veterinary Dental College was granted provisional accreditation as a veterinary specialty college by the American Board of Veterinary Dentistry.

Full recognition of AVDC, as an approved specialty was granted in 1995.

Currently, veterinary dentistry is recognized as a specialty by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The American Veterinary Dental College is the governing organization for this specialty, and determines the guidelines and conditions for certification in the field.

What is a Veterinary Dentistry Specialist?

“Specialty certification requires completing 3-5 years of training in the area of specialization beyond the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Requirements vary among individual ‘specialty colleges’ but all must pass advanced credential requirements approved by the AVMA. In addition to comprehensive training in his area of expertise, before being acknowledged as a specialist, a veterinarian must also publish original scientific articles and submit credentials of expertise to a review board in his specialty college.

Following the acceptance of his credentials he/she must then successfully complete extensive written and practical examinations. When these requirements have been met, the applicant is then designated a “Board Certified Specialist” or “Diplomate” of the respective specialty college (2).”


1. Anderson JG, Goldstein G, Boudreaux K, Ilkiw JE. J Vet Med Educ. 2016 Jul 14:1-6. The State of Veterinary Dental Education in North America, Canada, and the Caribbean: A Descriptive Study.

2. Harvey, Colin E. The History of Veterinary Dentistry Part One: From the Earliest Record to the End of the 18th Century. JVD 11(4) 135-139.1994.

3. www.fauchard.org