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Veterinary Dentistry

Course Code: VTEC 2106
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Veterinary Technology
Credits: 2.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

This course will review the basics of companion animal oral anatomy and health, with emphasis on prevention and detection of periodontal disease and oral pathology. Students will learn and practice techniques in routine dental cleaning and oral hygiene, dental charting, dental radiography, client education and home care. Enrolment is limited to students in the Veterinary Technology Program.

Course Content

The major topics in this course include the following:

  1. Anatomy and physiology of relevant oral structures and dentition, touching on embryology of deciduous teeth and their development into adult structures.
  2. Charting the oral cavity and performing an oral exam:  recognition of malocclusion, fractured teeth, crowding, dental abscesses, poor positioning and neoplasia of the oral cavity.
  3. Dental instrumentation – identification and care of instruments with an emphasis on proper use, sharpening and maintenance.
  4. Pathology of periodontal disease and periodontitis including clinical signs and treatment of the latter.
  5. Dental cleaning and oral hygiene procedures.
  6. Dental radiography – taking dental radiographs, developing and recognizing normal dental radiographic anatomy.
  7. Oral innervation and local anesthetic blocks.
  8. Ergonomics, theory of extractions, endodontics and orthodontics.
  9. Marketing and homecare techniques.

Methods of Instruction

This course involves four hours of instruction per week.  A combination of lecture and laboratory format is used.

Means of Assessment

The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. A final minimum cumulative grade of “C” or 60% is required (in both lecture and lab components) in order to pass this course. Evaluation will be based on quizzes and assignments, practical evaluations including a final practical examination, at least one midterm and a final written examination.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Perform the tasks in veterinary dentistry that are standard for the veterinary technologist.
  2. Recognize normal and abnormal dental anatomy and conditions.
  3. Use dental terminology and identify teeth by both the Anatomic and Triadan systems in order to accurately chart dental procedures and conditions.
  4. Identify and correctly use and care for dental hand instruments.
  5. Recommend home dental care programs to clients.
  6. Describe gingivitis and periodontitis, and perform oral hygiene procedures.
  7. Perform dental radiography.

course prerequisites

Successful completion of Year 1 of the Veterinary/Animal Health Technology Program



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.