Dental Bites for the Enlightened Practitioner | Centre for Veterinary Education

Dental Bites for the Enlightened Practitioner

Periodontal and dental diseases are arguably the most common issues seen in small animal practice, yet many vets feel intimidated or inadequate when faced with a complicated case that may require more than a scale and polish.

This course is designed to help you understand how to plan and perform efficient, atraumatic extractions (for both you and the patient), where to place local anaesthetic nerve blocks, and how to take and interpret dental radiographs. Together, these skills will help you to avoid the common pitfalls that lead to complications such as lost roots, fractured roots and fractured jaws.

Additionally, you will learn about the treatment options for traumatic malocclusions, and how to critically evaluate the plethora of dental homecare products on the market. These skills will allow you to take your dentistry to the next level, and help you to improve the health and welfare of your patients.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, you will:

  • Have a good understanding of the principles behind extraction techniques and how with good planning, to avoid the common extraction pitfalls

  • Understand the treatment options for traumatic malocclusions and when to offer referral

  • Have a good understanding of oral radiology positioning techniques, allowing the operator to take good quality diagnostic radiographs and then to interpret oral pathology seen on the image

  • Have an understanding of how homecare products work and develop the ability to critically evaluate claims made by homecare manufacturers

  • Understand the pharmacology of the different local anaesthetic agents and identify the anatomical landmarks required to perform effective anaesthesia/analgesia in the oral cavity.


  1. Surgical extractions including introduction to new technologies simplifying the extraction process. Extraction complications: avoiding common pitfalls 

  2. Treatment options for the most common traumatic malocclusion: Linguoversion of the mandibular canine(s) or base narrow canine condition. Some of the treatments to be discussed will include orthodontic movement, crown reduction and vital pulp therapy, surgical extraction, crown extensions.    

  3. Dental radiology: how to obtain diagnostic images and interpretation of dental radiographs including identifying normal radiographic oral anatomy       

  4. Dental homecare products: how to tell the bad from the good 

  5. Local anaesthesia: drugs and techniques 

Course Delivery

This course includes:

  • Written notes, photographs, videos and case studies

  • Self-assessed multiple choice quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding

  • A discussion forum for conversation, debate and information exchange with your peers and tutors

  • An electronic certificate available for download upon successful completion of the course

The estimated time to complete this course is 10 hours and it will be open for 4 weeks.


Monday 16 April - Sunday 13 May 2018
Delivered Online



Tony Caiafa graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor degree in Veterinary Science in 1978. He worked as a vet for 16 years. He returned to study in Bachelor of Dental Science in 1998 and graduated dux of his year. He has extensive experience in all aspects of general dentistry with a particular interest in dental implants and root canal treatment. Tony has a great rapport with patients and tries very hard to make every visit as comfortable as possible. He continues to work with our four legged friends as a guest lecturer in Veterinary Dentistry at James Cook University, Townsville.

BSc (Vet) BVSc (Hons) PhD MANZCVS (Dentistry)

Christine Hawke graduated from the University of Sydney in 1993, and spent four years in general practice both in Australia and the UK, during which time she disliked dentistry immensely. She returned to the University of Sydney in 1999, and completed her PhD in immunogenetics of autoimmune disease in 2003. After a break to start a family, Christine returned to the Faculty of Veterinary Science as a clinical lecturer, where, strangely enough, she developed an unexpected passion for small animal dentistry. Christine sat her ANZCVS membership exams in Veterinary Dentistry in 2006. She founded Sydney Pet Dentistry in 2007, and divides her time between clinical dentistry and teaching all aspects of small animal dentistry to vets, vet nurses and undergraduate students.

Course Fees

Member TypeTimeOnline
Recent Grad / Part-time Member$289
Student Member$145
Non-member / eMember$578
*Members include: Practice, Professional and Academic members

You may be eligible for a 10% discount off your registration. Please read the full Terms & Conditions to see if you are eligible. Discounts can’t be processed online so please contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 or to register.