Specialization through the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians (AVDT) is an amazing way to develop and advance your dentistry skills as a veterinary technician.
As described our content offer, “The Vet Tech’s Ultimate Guide to Communicating about Dentistry,”
applying and completing veterinary technician specialization (VTS) in dentistry is an intense process that involves years of work experience, thousands of hours of dental experience, a two year mentorship period, case logs, continuing education and a two part credentialing examination in addition to other requirements.(1)
But what do you do if you are not at a point in your life where you can pursue specialization but still want to learn more about dentistry? Read below to find out!
1) Find a Mentor
Ask a registered veterinary technician or veterinarian at your practice if they are willing to formally mentor you in relevant aspects of veterinary dentistry such as monitoring anesthesia, charting, obtaining dental radiographs and performing the dental prophylaxis.
Practice under their supervision until you are very comfortable and competent with all of these skills. If you wanted to take your skill set to the next level, seek mentorship or volunteer at a clinic that has a board certified veterinary dentist and VTS (dentistry) specialized technicians.
2) Attend Dentistry Lunch and Learns and Demos
Dentistry is a hot topic in veterinary medicine. There are many companies that develop and market dental related products or equipment - and they often schedule lunch and learns or demos to educate veterinary professionals about their products and equipment.
I recommend that you attend every dentistry-related learning opportunity that is hosted at your clinic, if your schedule allows. The company reps often share many pearls of wisdom during these presentations - jot these down and email them if you think of any questions later!
Want to step it up a notch? Talk your supervisor about proactively scheduling these learning opportunities.
3) Seek out Dental CE Opportunities
The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) has a comprehensive list of courses and wetlabs available for continuing education.(2) You will find opportunities such as “Veterinary Dentistry for Technicians Weekend Extravaganza”. With a name like that, who wouldn’t want to attend that workshop?
Another CE option is to check out your local veterinary medical association schedule and make sure to snag a spot to attend any dentistry presentations! They’re often free (if you’re a member), provide an hour or so of CE and usually include dinner, too!
Do you have other ideas for how to improve your dental knowledge as a vet tech? Write us and let us know!
- Barnette, Cathy. “The Vet Tech’s Ultimate Guide to Communicating about Dentistry.” VetPrep.
- Veterinary Dental CE Programs. American Veterinary Dental College.