Education and Training of Animal Dentistry & Oral Surgery Dentists & Oral Surgeons:
Dr. Buelow is an American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) board certified veterinary dentist and oral surgeon. There are less than 130 veterinarians in the world with this degree. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) oversees all of the veterinary specialty colleges of which the AVDC is one. The AVDC oversees the training and certification process for all board certified veterinary dentists. Although it is misleading to the public, it is not illegal for any individual to call themselves a veterinary “dentist”. However, it is true that only AVDC certified dentists can call themselves “board certified” or “specialists”. Board certified veterinary dentists are also certified veterinarians. They have the standard four years of undergraduate college education, as well as, a four year doctorate in veterinary medicine and surgery (DVM degree). As part of the AVDC training, Dr. Buelow has completed a dentistry residency programs. Residency programs involve multi-year training beyond the four years of veterinary college training. Requirements include maintaining and submitting for evaluation extensive case logs, radiograph study sets and ultimately passing a three part, three day certification exam. Their training included diagnosis and treatment of a variety of oral diseases and problems including: periodontal disease, endodontic disease, oral trauma (fracture repair), orthodontic problems, and oral cancer diagnosis and treatment. The experienced, trained eye of the dental specialist often discerns subtle changes indicative of oral diseases that may be missed during an oral exam performed as part of a routine physical exam.
Dentistry is not something that is taught to every veterinary student during their time at veterinary college. Depending on where an individual attended veterinary school, as part of the general veterinary education, they may have received little to no dental education or hands-on training/experience in the field of dentistry and oral surgery. Often their dental training is brief and may consist only of what is passed on to them by senior veterinary staff at their clinic. Some veterinarians have taken it upon themselves to obtain more training either during their time at veterinary college or afterwards through continuing education seminars or short-courses and laboratories. In any case, this is basic and not specialty level training.
Although clients report that their veterinarians have said that “they do the same thing as the dental specialist, just at a fraction of the cost,” you can rest assured that the level of education, clinical training, experience, and techniques are not the same.
Education and Training of ADOS Licensed Veterinary Technicians (LVTs):
ADOS only employs Licensed Veterinary Technicians (LVTs). Our LVTs have attended accredited schools of veterinary technology and are certified and licensed by the state of Virginia. They each have years of combined veterinary specialty level experience as LVTs, as well as, years of experience in the general veterinary field. Extensive hours of continuing education in both dentistry and anesthesia are completed by our LVTs every year. This includes specific veterinary dental continuing education (CE) annually, as well as, personalized anesthesia continuing education provided by board certified veterinary anesthesiologists. The LifeCentre also provides regular accredited continuing education in all specialty fields such as cardiology, emergency and critical care. Our LVTs benefit from this CE and are able to apply this knowledge to the daily care of our patients who are often geriatric and may have cardiac disease or other important underlying medical conditions.