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Today's pet owners are demanding higher levels of healthcare for their pets.  This demand has necessitated the emergence of veterinary specialists who focus on a specific healthcare services, similar to those in human medicine (e.g., cardiologists, radiologists, surgeons, internists, dentists). Dentistry is one of over twenty veterinary healthcare specialties recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) was established in 1988 and is the veterinary specialty organization in North America that certifies veterinary dental specialist. 

A Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (DAVDC) is a veterinarian who has been certified by the AVDC as having demonstrated specialist knowledge and clinical expertise in veterinary dentistry and oral & sinus surgery as a result of completing specialty training requirements and having successfully passed the AVDC certification examinations. The AVDC certification process is the only veterinary specialty certification program recognized by the veterinary profession and by state regulation in North America. Dr. Stephen is a Board Certified Veterinary Dental Specialist in both the Non-Species Specific/Small Animal and the Equine Dentistry Specialties.

Specialty board certification requires completing 3 to 6 years of training in the area of specialization beyond the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. All board-certified doctors must pass advanced credential requirements approved by the AVMA. In addition to comprehensive training in the area of expertise, a veterinarian must submit credentials of expertise to a review board in the specialty college and are required to publish original scientific articles. Following acceptance of the credentials, an extensive written and practical examination must be successfully completed before being recognized as a specialist. When these requirements have been met, the applicant veterinarian is then designated as a “Board Certified Specialist” or “Diplomate” of the respective specialty college. Veterinary dentistry specialty candidates who complete this process can  use the well earned titles, Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, Board Certified Veterinary Dentist, and Veterinary Dental Specialist.

Dr. Stephen is also qualified as an Equine Fellows of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (FAVD). The Academy of Veterinary Dentistry is an international organization of veterinarians with a special interest in the dental care of animals. Most AVD Fellows are active practitioners, serving the oral health needs of their patients.