The American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians (ASVDT) was created in 1994 by a group of veterinary technicians who have dedicated the major part of their careers to veterinary dentistry. They realized the need for an organization that would recognize the key role technicians and other members of the staff play in the dental portion of a practice. Since very little dental training was given at veterinary and technician schools, it was also essential to provide those in the field with educational materials to enhance their dental knowledge and skills. The founding technicians were joined by leading veterinary dentists and educators of veterinary technicians.
Every animal that enters a veterinary hospital is a potential candidate for a dental procedure, preventative or therapeutic. The better trained the staff is to recognize signs of dental problems , the easier it is to communicate this need to the client. If the receptionist or technician detects bad breath or "flips the lip" and sees a build-up of calculus when the animal is being checked in, the client can be informed that this has to be evaluated and treated. By making the client aware at this stage, they are prepared to discuss it more fully with the doctor.
The ASVDT First Level Qualifying Examination is a home study course that was created by Dr. Jan Bellows a Board Certified Veterinary Dentist. He was a charter member of our Board of Directors and remains in that capacity. The course with examination is available to all members of a veterianry hospital staff. Since the introduction of the exam in 1995, over 4000 persons (including over 300 veterinarians) have taken the course.
The mission of the ASVDT is to convince all veterinarians that they must integrate dentistry into their practices to help their patients with a total health program that will satisfy their clients and increase their professional services and revenues. The proper training and motivation of their staff is key to attaining this goal.