General AVDC Diploma Requirements

These requirements apply to both the Equine and Small Animal Diploma programs.

On January 1st, 2014, AVDC made significant changes in its training program requirements. The Alternate Pathway program was replaced by a Part-time Residency program, in which the minimum clinical dental and oral surgery service time directly supervised by an AVDC diplomate is the same as for a full-time Residency program.

If you are registered in an AVDC training program with a registered start date prior to January 1st, 2014, click Pre-2014 Requirements. The Requiments listed on this screen apply only to Residents (Full-time or Part-time) whose training program has a registered start date of January 1st, 2014 or later.

English is the official language of AVDC. All documents, forms and examinations provided by AVDC are written in English, and all materials submitted by applicants and residents are to be written in English.

As the certifying organization for specialists in veterinary dentistry in North America, the AVDC provides extensive information for and support to residents during their AVDC training programs. Read the information on this and related pages before starting to put together a Training Program Registration application.

Also available: Information for Registered Residents

General Requirements for AVDC Training Programs



Be a graduate of an accredited college or school of veterinary medicine and be legally qualified to practice veterinary medicine in a US state or Candian province or in another country.



Have completed a post-graduate12 month rotating internship or eqivalent in practice. Contact the Executive Secretary if you have questions about this requirement


Veterinary Dental Training Program:

Duration and Type

Full-time Residency program: The minimum time for a Full-time Residency program is 30 months and the maximum time is six years (not including leaves of absence), or 10 years including leaves of absence.

Part-time Residency program: The minimum time for a Part-time Residency program is three years, and the maximum time is six years (not including leaves of absence), or 10 years including leaves of absence.

See also Advanced Standing, below


Diplomate Supervision

All applicants for registration as an AVDC Resident must have a Residency Supervisor who is a Diplomate of AVDC. The Residency Supervisor must be the Residency Program Director at or on staff at an AVDC-approved Residency Site or Shared Residency Program site.

Full-time and part-time residency programs both require a minimum of 48 weeks of directly diplomate-supervised clinical dental and oral surgery service time and a minimum of 78 weeks of dental and oral surgery service time (including the 48 weeks of directly duplomate supervised time).

For a part-time residency, the first four weeks of the residency must be spent at the Supervisor's facility. Read the Mentee and Mentor Manual for more information on diplomate supervision, particularly in a part-time Residency program.


Case Load

The minimum total number of cases and the Minimum Required Case Load (MRCL - specified minima for certain categories) are stated and defined on the Case Log page. All cases on the MRCL list must have been reviewed by an AVDC Diplomate.


Case Log

A case log is to be kept, conforming to the AVDC case log requirements current on the date of the procedure. A dental chart must be available for all logged cases. See Case Log Requirements.



Two publications approved by the Credentials Committee are required. See the Publication document for details.


Specialty Training in Related Disciplines

40 hours of post-graduate training in each of the following disciplines: Anesthesia, Surgery, and Radiology, supervised by Diplomates of the relevant specialty colleges.


Dental Charts, Equiment List

For a full-time resident, approval of dental charts and equipment is included in the Residency Site approval review process; no additional approval is required for an individual full-time resident.

For a part-time resident who also works in a non-AVDC-approved practice, Training Support Commiittee approval of Dental Charts and an Initial Equipment List is required. Credentials Committee approval of a pre-credentials application Equipment List is also equired.


Radiograph Sets

Submit a full-mouth radiograph set of a dog and cat (Small Animal Diploma) or horse (Equine diploma).


Annual Report

Submit an Annual Report of training program activities.



Payment of a Training Program Registration Fee and an annual fee is required of all applicants.

A credentials application fee is required at the time of submission of a completed credentials application packge. The credentials application fee is separate from the examination fee.


Advanced Standing

General Policy on Advanced Standing

1.      Veterinarians who have successfully completed relevant forms of other extensive, formal, full-time training (e.g. a human dental degree or an approved veterinary surgery or internal medicine residency program, or training that has led to RDH certification) may petition AVDC for partial reduction of the AVDC training program time requirement. These applicants will be required to have an AVDC Diplomate Residency Supervisor and, at a minimum, complete 18 months of AVDC part-time or full time training, including a minimum of 36 weeks of directly or indirectly diplomate-supervised clinical veterinary dental and oral surgery service time, and to complete all other AVDC training program requirements (total case log, MRCL case log, Publications, and Anesthesia, Radiology and Surgery specialty hours [except if the equivalent was included in their previous training program]).

2.      Veterinarians who have completed a 12 month post-graduate internship (or equivalent) and who have been enrolled in a formal veterinary dental training program approved by the European Veterinary Dental College or by the Dentistry Chapter of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists at the Fellowship level, and who relocate to the USA or Canada, may petition for recognition of training activities conducted in those programs in part-reduction of AVDC training program requirements. Whether conducted in the prior program or in the AVDC residency program, the totality of the veterinary dental training in both programs must be not less than that required for completion of standard AVDC credentials review, including total case load, MRCL log and publications.

3.      Any other activities completed prior to registration of the training program with AVDC will not be accepted by AVDC, unless an exception to this rule was recommended by the Training Support Committee and granted prior to the starting date of the training program by the Board of Directors of the College.


Advanced Standing Policy for Equine Applicants

During the first few years of the AVDC Equine Diploma program, AVDC offers a more specific Advanced Standing Option for Equine applicants. This option will be closed on July 15, 2017. Details are available in the Advanced Standing section of the AVDC Equine web-page.



For detailed information on the requirements listed above, view the the links in individual items above, or visit the Information for Registered Residents page.