Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Veterinary Dental Specialist?

A veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has completed additional training in a specific area of veterinary medicine and has passed an examination that evaluates their knowledge and skills in that specialty area.

A Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) is a veterinarian who has been certified by American Veterinary Dental College as having demonstrated specialist knowledge and expertise in veterinary dentistry as a result of completing the AVDC training requirements, completing a residency in Veterinary Dentistry, and having successfully passed the AVDC examination. AVDC is recognized as the specialist certification organization in veterinary dentistry in North America by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties. AVDC diplomates are referred to as veterinary dental specialists. For more information on the AVDC, please visit

What is a Fellow?

A Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (AVD) is a veterinarian who has had additional training in veterinary dentistry and has passed the examination to achieve Fellow status. The Academy of Veterinary Dentistry was formed to recognize individuals who dedicate a significant part of their professional activities to the practice, instruction, or research in Veterinary Dentistry. A Fellow is referred to as a dentist, however not as a dental specialist. For more information on the AVD, please visit

Why see a specialist?

You and your pet may be referred to a veterinary dental specialist if treating your pets condition requires advanced procedures or specialized equipment. Your pets condition may be uncommon or complicated after routine testing is performed. Our goal is to work together with your family veterinarian to create a treatment plan that is best for your pet.

What to expect when you visit us?

When you schedule an appointment at the Hospital for Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery (HVDOS), our goal is to treat your pet with a high level of expertise and compassion that we would want for our own pets. Visits to HVDOS begin with a consultation. At the time on consultation, you and your pet will meet our highly trained technical staff who will discuss the reason for your visit as well as collect important medical history. Next our dentists will perform an awake oral examination on your pet and discuss their findings and create a customized treatment plan based on your pets needs and options available. A physical examination will also be performed to ensure that your pet is a candidate for anesthesia, which is a necessary part of all dental procedures. After discussing our recommendations with you, we will schedule your pet for an anesthetized dental procedure. Our dental nurses will meet with you the morning of the procedure to answer any questions or concerns that you may have at that time. The dental nurse admitting your pet into the hospital will be your point of contact for the day. After your pet is admitted to the hospital, great care is taken to ensure that your pet remains as stress free as possible. Patients are given preanesthetic medications to reduce anxiety and provide pain control prior to any dental procedures being started. Your pet will be anesthetized and monitored by our highly trained and licensed team members. All dental procedures being with dental radiographs. If you would like to see the radiographs prior to any treatment being initiated, please let your doctor know. We will be happy to show and explain what we find so that you are aware of the treatment decisions being made. If you are unable to be present, we will gladly call you with our findings. Once treatment is completed and your pet is safely awake from anesthesia, the dentist will call you to discuss the procedure. A discharge appointment will be scheduled so that we can discuss any special instructions for your pet as well as any follow up care that is recommended. A recheck will also be scheduled if recommended by the dentist.

What about feline dental care?

While our goal is to minimize fear and anxiety in all our patients, we recognize that our feline friends require special attention. Practices that promote low stress environments lead to a better experience for our clients, staff members, and most importantly your pets. We have a separate designated quiet waiting area for patients who do not tolerate loud noise or other patients. We also strive to limit waiting time for your cats. We use feline pheromones (Feliway) to create a calming environment for your feline friend. Our staff members are trained to properly handle and restrain your cat to minimize stress and injury. If your cat is admitted to the hospital, we take great lengths to make sure that they are kept in a quiet environment, separate from dogs. If you have special concerns regarding your feline friend, please contact us to discuss their special needs.