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Veterinary medical dental care is an essential component of a preventive health care plan. Quality dental care is necessary to provide optimum health and quality of life. If left untreated, diseases of the oral cavity are painful and can contribute to other local or systemic diseases.1,2 The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for the practice of companion animal dentistry. A list of definitions to enhance the understanding of this article is provided in Table 1 (Page 4).

The dental health care team is obligated to practice within the scope of their respective education, training, and experience. It is imperative that the dental health care team remains current with regard to oral care, operative procedures, materials, equipment, and products. The team members must attain appropriate continuing education through courses such as those offered by the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the annual Veterinary Dental Forum, industry and private facilities; by reading the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry; and by reading other appropriate journals and medical texts.3–7

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