How To Become A Veterinary Dentist – Guide

by Anwesha Sarkar

Have you always loved working with animals and are interested in a career in veterinary medicine? Does the idea of specializing in caring for pets’ oral health and performing dental procedures appeal to you? If so, a career as a veterinary dentist may be a great choice.

Skills Needed

To succeed as a veterinary dentist, certain skills and strengths are essential:

  • Dexterity and manual skills: You’ll need excellent fine motor skills and precision when working inside animals’ small mouths and executing intricate extractions, repairs, etc. Steady hands are a must.
  • Problem-solving: Assess pets’ symptoms and determine appropriate treatments by analyzing x-rays, test results, etc. You must think critically and strategically.
  • Communication: Explain proposed treatments/costs to pet owners and provide follow-up oral and written care instructions clearly and empathetically.
  • Organization: Juggles appointments, records, billing, and orders efficiently. Stay focused and pay sharp attention to detail.
  • Physical stamina: Endures bending, crouching, and standing for long stretches of time while treating a series of animal patients in one day.

Work Environment

Veterinary dentists work in private specialty practices, universities, and corporate settings. You may:

  • Have your own individual or group specialty dentistry clinic only offering dental care.
  • Work within a larger multi-specialty vet hospital alongside other specialists.
  • Teach dentistry at a veterinary college while practicing.
  • Conduct research on animal oral health products and therapies for a pharmaceutical company.

A typical week involves a mix of scheduled dental procedures such as extractions, dental cleanings, x-rays and exams plus emergency visits. Expect 40-50 hour work weeks. Settings range from quiet, relaxed clinics to busy, noisy hospitals. Be prepared to manage anxious animals protective of their mouths and work with grieving owners to decide on treatment affordability.


The earning potential as a veterinary dentist is quite positive. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average yearly salary of specialist veterinarians is $108,350 in the U.S. Those working in academia or government may earn less. Veterinary dentists in private specialty practice can potentially make $200,000 or much more.

Geographic location, experience level, clientele demographics, and practice ownership also impact compensation. Many vet dentists feel deeply fulfilled by restoring beloved pets’ quality of life despite relinquishing some higher salary upside compared to human dentistry.

Best Veterinary Colleges in India

Gaining admission into one of India’s top veterinary colleges is vital for cementing a rewarding veterinary dentistry career. Look into these highly regarded programs when applying:

  • College of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry, Anand Agricultural University: Top-ranked college known for its strong focus on livestock medicine and dentistry specifically.
  • Madras Veterinary College, Tamil Nandu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University: Offers the country’s first advanced degree program and diploma training in veterinary dentistry.
  • College of Veterinary Sciences, Rajasthan University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Bikaner: Features state-of-the-art veterinary dental facility used for specialization research and hands-on learning.

Be sure to score very well on entrance tests like NEET to increase your chances of admission. Pursuing a master’s degree or PhD along with or after your Bachelor in Veterinary Science (B.VSc) or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) can further enhance employability.

Finding a Job

After completing your specialized dentistry residency training, focus your job search on:

  • Veterinary dental clinics and specialty hospitals: Advertise your services to established vet practices to join as their dentistry expert.
  • Pet healthcare and pharmaceutical companies: Contribute insights into developing and testing innovative animal oral and dental products.
  • Academic institutions: Apply for faculty doctor/teaching roles to train next-generation veterinarians while continuing research.
  • Professional veterinary associations: Getting involved with groups like the Indian Society of Veterinary Dentistry and the National Academy of Veterinary Pediatrics can foster connections.

As demand for more advanced dental care for pets grows in India, veterinary dentists with the proper credentials and experience should see ample job options and private practice ownership prospects in this niche.


Embarking on the decade-plus journey to become a veterinary dentistry specialist brings long yet rewarding days caring for the animals we cherish. If you have the determination, manual finesse, investigative intellect, and heart for animals required, veterinary dentistry offers a stable, lucrative, and impactful career improving countless pets’ welfare for years ahead.

Use the guidance above to progress towards this worthwhile goal!

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