The British Veterinary Dental Association (BVDA) celebrates its 21st birthday this year.
Set up by a group of veterinary surgeons with a special interest in dentistry, the BVDA has worked hard to enhance knowledge and skills in the field of veterinary dentistry.
The aims of the association are to educate and train veterinary and dental surgeons in, and to promote practice, teaching and research of, animal dentistry.
Membership is currently 100 but the president, Lisa Milella, believes that there is considerable scope to increase the number of first opinion vets and nurses who are members of the BVDA.
“Progress in research and the use of cutting-edge techniques is obviously a part of what the BVDA does but we also aim to champion the cause of high standards of dentistry in general practice. We are by no means an elitist group and have a lot to offer any vet or nurse who is interested in dentistry.
“Having just renewed a three-year agreement of support with Hill’s Pet Nutrition we are in a very strong position to continue to expand the range of courses and training we are able to offer, so this is an excellent time to become a member,” she says.
On satellite day of the BSAVA congress last month, there was a stateof-the-art lecture on MTA, a gold standard endodontic treatment; lectures on oro-facial tumours, reconstructive surgery, radiotherapy and feline chronic gingivostomatitis. The day concluded with the cutting of a birthday cake.
Benefits of BVDA membership are:
- access to courses on veterinary dentistry at a reduced cost;
- BVDA Journal (quarterly);
- associate membership of the American Veterinary Dental Society;
- Journal of Veterinary Dentistry (quarterly);
- referral listing where appropriate.
The BVDA has undertaken a series of initiatives in the field of education and training.
It delivers undergraduate practical training at the Liverpool, Bristol and Cambridge veterinary schools, with Liverpool and Bristol also having theoretical lectures provided by BVDA volunteer tutors.
The practical sessions are designed to teach the skills needed to perform dentistry and comprise of four work stations so that students can work in small groups. The periodontology station teaches the students how to examine the mouth using a dental explorer and periodontal probe, as well as the correct way to scale and polish teeth without causing harm.
At the radiography station the focus is on positioning of the head for intraoral radiographs and interpretation of images and the remaining two stations are for routine and surgical extraction of teeth.
In addition to member days, the BVDA also runs postgraduate training for practitioners interested in refining existing skills and learning new techniques, suitable for beginners to intermediate level. The morning is given over to theoretical learning with a full afternoon of wetlabs to give hands-on experience.
Courses for 2009 include oral radiology on 22nd June in Byfleet, Surrey; and oral surgery – extraction techniques and tips, on 16th May in Weybridge and 31st July at Myerscough Agricultural College, Preston. Full membership of the BVDA costs £60 for vets or dentists and £50 for nurses and technicians, with practice member-ship at £75 and student member-ship at £20.
Further details are available by contacting Lisa Milella on 01932 349690, lisa@ milella.fsnet.co.uk; or see www.bvda.co.uk.