General AVDC Diploma Requirements


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 Requirement 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 Canadian province or in another country.



1.  Completion of a formal 12 month rotating internship program that includes rotations through a broad range of clinical services.

OR equivalent as described in 2.

2.  Practical, post-graduate time (minimum of 18 months) in general small-animal practice that sees a wide range of patients (types of disease) may be acceptable to the residency site/mentor. The applicant is to provide a description of the time spent at that facility, the range of clinical patients seen, facilities available, and staff available to consult.

The TSC will need to review and approve the description and approval by the proposed residency site/mentor of the non-rotating internship applicant prior to acceptance into an AVDC residency program.


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.


Diplomate Supervision Small Animal

All applicants for registration as an AVDC Resident must have a Residency Supervisor who is a Small Animal OR NSS 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 diplomate 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.


Diplomate Supervision Equine

A minimum of 78 weeks must be spent on clinical dental service during the residency. A minimum of 48 of those 78 weeks of clinical dental service time shall be spent on-site under the direct supervision of the Residency Director, or, if approved by the Residency Director and the AVDC Equine Training Support Committee, with another diplomate either at the Residency Director’s facility or at the other diplomate’s facility.

The supervising Diplomate can be an AVDC Diplomate or AVDC-EQ Diplomate, or, for a maximum of one third of the required 48 directly-diplomate-supervised clinical dental service weeks, an EVDC Diplomate or EVDC (Eq) Diplomate; twenty-four of the 48 week direct-diplomate-supervision time must be spent with an Equine Specialty Diplomate.


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.



One publication approved by the Credentials Committee are required. See the Publication document for details (Information for Registered Residents).


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, Equipment List

For a full-time resident, approval of dental charts (electronic and physical) 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 Committee approval of Dental Charts and an Initial Equipment List is required. Credentials Committee approval of a pre-credentials application Equipment List is also required.


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 package. The credentials application fee is separate from the examination fee.

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