Get your teeth into best practice dentistry (2021-2022)

Vetscholar and Massey University, Palmerston North
Companion Animal

This course is for companion animal veterinarians wanting to achieve best practice in veterinary dentistry.

With pets living longer, dentistry now makes up a significant component of companion animal practice and practice income. Do you want to offer your dental patients and their client’s better outcomes? Do you want to offer a dental service that would be considered world’s best practice? Do you want to improve your dental skills with supervised hands-on training? Do you want to utilise industry leading equipment to make dental care easier?


  • New extraction techniques and instrumentation to minimise trauma, improve patient comfort and offer better outcomes 
  • Surgical extraction techniques 
  • Gingival flap surgery including oronasal fistula repair and palatal defect surgery 
  • Pain management for dental patients 
  • Radiographic identification of oral pathology 
  • Avoiding extraction complications but be able to manage them if they occur.


Online course featuring recorded presentations, comprehensive notes, and case studies, following by a 1-day practical workshop providing the opportunity to put your newly learnt skills in to practice. You will get the opportunity to remove all types of teeth and will learn how to take good quality dental x-rays.

Online: From 10 January 2022 - new enrolments can work through the material self-directed.

Workshop: Tuesday 15 February 2022

Location: Massey University, Palmerston North

Learning objectives

  • Increase understanding in oral anatomy and the anatomical landmarks for successful local anaesthesia 
  • Improved knowledge of gingival flap techniques for soft tissue defects in the oral cavity 
  • Increased confidence in performing surgical extractions and handling extraction complications 
  • Learn new techniques for extracting teeth with a new minimally invasive approach 
  • Improve skill in taking and interpreting dental radiographs

Learning outcomes

  • To understand the steps involved in successfully performing surgical tooth extractions. 
  • Improve oral surgery skills when handling both soft and hard oral tissues 
  • Enjoy your dentistry with your newly gained skills and utilising quality instrumentation


Anthony Caiafa BVSc BDSc MANZCVS: Graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1978 and a Bachelor of Dental Science in 1998. He became and Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in small animal surgery in 1992 and veterinary dentistry in 1993. Between 2001 and 2008, Anthony worked at the University of Melbourne as an Associate Professor in Veterinary Dentistry as well as consulting in veterinary dentistry at the university veterinary clinic and hospital. Since 2009, he has been an Adjunct Associate Professor and consultant/lecturer in veterinary dentistry at James Cook University alongside being a consultant in veterinary dentistry at the North Coast Veterinary Specialists and Referral Centre in Queensland. Anthony also works as a general practice dentist on the Sunshine Coast. Anthony has been an Examiner in Veterinary Dentistry for the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists and President of the Australian Veterinary Dental Society. At two separate times he was the Convenor of Pet Dental Health Month (Australia). Anthony has lectured and chaired veterinary dentistry workshops all over the world and is a published author of two chapters and a number of peer reviewed articles.

Angus Fechney BVSc: Angus currently runs a small animal dental referral business based in Palmerston North. In 2014 he finished a six year stint coordinating primary clinical companion animal service and final year undergraduate teaching within the Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. He is finishing his part time residency with a view to sitting specialist exams in 2021. He currently teaches dentistry to the senior vet and vet tech students at Massey University as well as providing referral dental services. Angus has several years of experience teaching veterinary colleagues in a practical setting and is passionate about all things dental.

Craig Hunger BVSc MANZCVS: After graduating from Massey University, Craig has practiced in both New Zealand and England. He developed a special interest in dentistry culminating in becoming just the third person in New Zealand to achieve their memberships in small animal dentistry and oral surgery from the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in 2012. Since then, he has been offering a referral service for advanced dental procedures including but not limited to endodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, difficult extractions, chronic gingivo stomatitis, oral fracture repairs and mass removals. He also provides in clinic dental training for vets and nurses as well as lecturing vet nurse students and providing webinars. He has a passion for all things dental and is trying to increase the profile and standard of small animal dentistry in New Zealand.

Janine van Dam BVSc MANZCVS: Graduated as a vet from Massey University in 1997. She worked in a mixed practice in Southland for two years before travelling to the United Kingdom to work as a companion animal vet and travel the globe. Her passion for dentistry developed when she returned to New Zealand in 2008. Aware of the massive changes that have taken place in the field since graduating, she attended a number of continuing education courses in dentistry in New Zealand and overseas. In 2016 she attained membership to the Australian and NZ College of Veterinary Surgeons in Small Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery. She continues to locum in general practice in Christchurch and in 2016 started a dental referral service Pet Dentistry Ltd. She sees referral cases from anywhere in the South Island from a Christchurch clinic. Janine has given presentations on dentistry to NZVA regional branches in the South Island. Her goal is to inspire other vets to increase their standard of care and knowledge in the field of dentistry.


Full course: Member - $1050 | Non-member - $2100

Workshop only: Member - $700 | Non-member - $1400

Online only: Member - $500 | Non-member - $1000


Shannon Leader | 04 495 1145 |

Sessions for this event

Get your teeth into best practice dentistry - Online only
Sep 20, 2021

Get your teeth into best practice dentistry - Full course
Sep 20, 2021

Get your teeth into best practice dentistry - Workshop only
Oct 15, 2021, 7:30:00 AM

This ticket is only available to those who complete the online course in 2020.