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Credentialing Guidelines

Once you receive notice of your acceptance into the mentorship program, you will receive the credentials packet for your graduating year. This will contain ALL information, forms, templates, and detailed requirements for you to begin. All requirements must be met within the two year mentorship program, starting January 1st and ending December 31st the following year. Also included will the information on the submission process at the end of the program. Please refer to your graduating years’ packet as requirements can change year to year.

Specialty Training/Continuing Education

The candidate must successfully complete wet lab training and attend lectures in advanced dentistry procedures in addition to meeting the general requirements. Twenty-five hours of wet lab training and 15 hours of advanced dentistry lectures are required. Participation and attendance at wet labs and lectures must be completed during the two-year mentorship program. Teaching or assisting in a lecture or wet lab cannot be used to fulfill this requirement. The breakdown of these hours are listed below:

Wet Lab Hours – 25 total hours

  • Dental Prophylaxis – 5 hours

  • Periodontics – 5 hours

  • Prosthodontics – 2.5 hours

  • Radiology – 6 hours

  • Endodontics – 2.5 hours

  • Dental Local and Regional Anesthesia – 4 hours

Advanced Dental Procedures Lectures – 15 total hours

  • Endodontics – 2.5 hours

  • Prosthodontics – 2.5 hours

  • Orthodontics – 2.5 hours

  • Oral Surgery – 2.5 hours

  • Oral Pathology – 2.5 hours

  • Advanced Periodontal Therapy – 2.5 hours

AVDT approved wet labs and lectures may be available at the following conferences or training centers:

  1. National Conference of Veterinary Technician Specialty Academies

  2. Animal Dental Training Center (

  3. Veterinary Dental Forum (

  4. North American Veterinary Conference (

  5. Western States Veterinary Conference (

  6. Central States Veterinary Conference (

  7. American Veterinary Medical Association (

  8. American Animal Hospital Association (

  9. Animal Dental Care Training Center (

Case Logs

Two cases logs- 1 categorical and 1 chronological, with a minimum of 50 specific dentistry cases are required. All cases must be seen during the two-year mentorship program. Candidates must submit at least 50 cases that meet the AVDT definition of dental care. However, if only 50 cases are submitted, a single unacceptable case could result in your packet being rejected. The case logs are used to confirm your dental experience and your mastery of advanced dental skills. Classification of cases include oral medicine, periodontics, advanced periodontics, endodontics, restorative dentistry, oral surgery, prosthodontics, orthodontics and other species cases.

Case Reports

Five Case Reports are required. The case reports must be typed (double spaced) and not more than five pages in length. Cases for your reports must appear in your case log. Select five various cases from your log that will demonstrate your expertise in dentistry nursing skills. The case reports should describe in detail, how the patient was diagnosed and treated. The case report must also be used to demonstrate how you used your knowledge and experience to assist the veterinarian in diagnosing and treating the patient.

Dental Radiography Requirement

The candidate must provide a complete set of intra-oral dental radiographs of a dog and a cat.  The radiographic requirement can be fulfilled as follows: full-mouth series and must include complete adult dentition and all roots. Skull radiographs are unacceptable. Cadaver radiographs are acceptable provided that an intact cadaver, with an endotracheal tube in place, was radiographed, and that the candidate and mentor certify that the whole cadaver was used. Radiographs should be mounted and labeled appropriately, identifying client, patient, date, animal age and breed. Digital radiographs are acceptable and encouraged.

Equipment List and Photographs

A copy of equipment list (provided) and accurately labeled photographs of all veterinary dental equipment, instruments and supplies currently available to the mentee, arranged by procedure category (e.g. major equipment, periodontics, endodontics, restoratives, orthodontics, oral surgery, other) is required by all mentees.

Required reading list: (subject to change)

Heidi B. Lobprise. Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Animal Dentistry. Second Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

Niemiec, B. A., Gawor J., & Jekl V. Practical Veterinary Dental Radiography. CRC Press, 2018

Niemiec, B., Veterinary Periodontology. First Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

Holmstrom, Steven E. Veterinary Dentistry: A Team Approach, Third Edition. Saunders, 2018.

Niemiec, Brook A. Small Animal Dental, Oral & Maxillofacial Disease: A Color Handbook. Second Edition. Manson Publishing, 2011.

Perrone, Jeanne R. Small Animal Dental Procedures for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses Second Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, 2020.

Berg, Mary. Companion Animal Dentistry for Veterinary Technicians 1st Edition. Bluedoor, 2021

Lobprise, Heidi B., Dodd, Jonathon R. Wiggs's Veterinary Dentistry: Principles and Practice 2nd Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, 2019.

Bellows, Jan. Small Animal Dental Equipment, Materials, and Techniques 2nd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell; 2019.

Dupont, Gregg A. and DeBowes, Linda J. Atlas of Dental Radiography in Dogs and Cats. Saunders, 2009.

Suggested reading list: (subject to change)

Journal of Veterinary Dentistry (previous 2 years prior to exam): F4VD membership required

Gail E. Marshall. Companion-Animal Dental and Surgical Instruments: A Reference for Veterinary Technicians and Assistants. First Edition. AAHA Press, 2011

Bartolomucci, Linda R. Dental Instruments: A Pocket Guide, 4th Edition. Saunders, 2011.

Step by Step Compendium. May be ordered through the Foundation of Veterinary Dentistry: (

Niemiec, B. Feline Dentistry for the General Practitioner. May be ordered through: (

Kesel, M. Lynne. Veterinary Dentistry for the Small Animal Technician, First Edition. WileyBlackwell, 2000.

Mentees should also look at other dental handbooks and periodicals available, including technician magazines, which offer special features on dentistry.

Credentials Packet Review/Grading

All requirements must be completed and signed off by your mentor within the two year program. Three separate but complete packets, 1 original and 2 anonymous, must be submitted. The two anonymous packets will be evaluated blindly by separate credentials committee members and graded accordingly. The evaluations are reviewed by the credentials chair and an averaged grade is given. A perfect score is 100. Points are averaged between the two reviews given.  If an applicant receives 95 – 100 points they will automatically become a candidate for the exam. An applicant receiving 85 – 94 points will be given two weeks to correct any needed changes to the credentials packet. Any applicant receiving less than 85 points will be asked to resubmit their packet after an additional year in the program. Notification of packet grades will be given within 60 days.

The requirements for eligibility are rigorous. They are not designed to be obstacles to prevent applicants from becoming certified, but are intended to assure the public and profession that technicians certified by the AVDT are truly qualified.

The AVDT wishes you Best of Luck!

Credentialing Guidelines: About
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