The AVDT does not condone, endorse nor recommend that veterinary technicians, credentialed or not, perform dental extractions on any species, especially, cats, dogs and horses. Extraction of teeth is oral surgery and should be performed by a licensed veterinarian, per the AVMA. Several states allow for veterinary technicians to perform extractions, but the wording is often vague, some stating simple extractions only, others simply list extractions as a task that can be performed by a credentialed veterinary technician.

The duties of a veterinary technician during a dental procedure include charting, performing dental cleaning (sub-gingival and supra-gingival) and polishing, intraoral radiographs, performing nerve blocks, assisting with the dental procedures and oral surgery. Diagnosing dental disease, prescribing treatment options and medications, and performing oral surgery are duties for the veterinarian. The veterinary technician may and should assist the veterinarian with these duties, thereby ensuring the patient receives the most thorough and efficient dental care.

A Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Dentistry is a credentialed technician with a special interest in dentistry and oral surgery. They have extensive knowledge and training in these areas (endodontics, exodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, and periodontics), however they are not taught nor licensed to perform oral surgery. They may instruct veterinarians on proper extraction techniques under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

Always refer to your state’s veterinary practice act for the duties that you may perform legally.