Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 2.5
Hours: 2 lecture, 2 laboratory per week (48 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: V T 70.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Safely and correctly perform a complete dental prophylaxis on a veterinary companion animal patient at an entry level of competency.
  • Prepare and effectively deliver client education regarding home dental care for companion animals.


Basic principles of veterinary dentistry for the veterinary technology student. Includes dental anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, charting and instrumentation. Techniques of routine dental prophylaxis and aspects of anesthesia specific to dental patients. Discussion of periodontal disease, modes of therapy, client education and preventive care. Introduction to common dental disorders, simple extractions, and dental radiography. Course includes hands-on laboratory sessions using veterinary dental equipment, models, and live animal patients. Care and use of common instruments and equipment. Comparative dentistry: dental formulas and clinical applications of dental disease in a variety of domestic and wild animals. Intended for students in the Veterinary Technology Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Demonstrate practical knowledge of dental anatomy and terminology.
B. Relate and employ proper dental charting techniques.
C. Identify common dental instruments and equipment.
D. Explain and demonstrate the proper care, maintenance and use of common dental equipment and tools.
E. Recognize and explain the pathophysiology of common dental and oral disorders.
F. Recognize and discuss the therapy and prevention of periodontal disease.
G. Describe and perform a complete and thorough dental prophylaxis using hand and power dental tools.
H. Identify the components of a dental radiography unit, select the proper film and exposure factors and safely expose and process diagnostic dental radiographs.
I. Describe and demonstrate the proper technique for performing simple extractions in veterinary patients.
J. Demonstrate the ability to competently assist the veterinarian in all aspects of veterinary dentistry.
K. Educate clients about common dental problems and proper care at home.
L. Know basic comparative dentistry.

Course Content

A. Dental anatomy and terminology
1. Regional anatomy and physiology
B. Charting techniques
1. Nomenclature of anatomy
2. Dental charting
C. Dental equipment
1. Dental hand instruments
2. Identification and proper use
3. Ergonomics
D. Dental equipment care and maintenance
1. Instrument sharpening
2. Dental power equipment
a. Identification
b. Care and maintenance
E. Pathophysiology of common dental and oral disorders
1. Etiology
2. Treatments
F. Periodontal disease
1. Etiology
2. Stages/pathogenesis
3. Treatment of periodontal disease
G. The complete prophylaxis
1. Steps and techniques in a prophylaxis
2. Gingival curettage
3. Root planing
H. Dental radiology
1. Safety
2. Exposure factors
3. Positioning
4. Processing
I. Extraction techniques
1. Single rooted tooth
2. Incisors
3. Canine tooth
4. Multiple-rooted tooth
5. Carnassial tooth
J. Veterinary dentistry in a small animal clinic
1. Role of veterinary technician
K. Client education
1. Exam room discussions
2. Home care
3. Common dental disorders
L. Comparative dentistry

Lab Content

A. Hands-on sessions using veterinary dental equipment, models, and live animal patients.
B. Care and use of common instruments and equipment.
C. Study of the relevant anatomy using models and live animals.
D. Performance of a complete oral examination, dental charting, and the complete dental prophylaxis on cadaver/models.
E. Case discussions.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Scrub shirt.
B. Note taking materials.
C. Classroom equipped with multimedia projection and presentation capabilities.
D. Laboratory equipped with hand and power dental instruments.
E. Veterinary dental models and audiovisual materials.
F. Live animal specimens, including, at least, dogs, cats, and rodents.
G. Cadavers, skulls, typodonts, and other models.
H. Imaging: dental radiograph machine and digital image capture equipment.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of evaluation may include but are not limited to:
A. Two midterm written examinations.
B. A comprehensive written final examination.
C. Participation and performance in the laboratory.
D. Practical examinations.
E. Written client education dialogue.
F. Case study.
G. Take home assignments.

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Laboratory
D. Demonstration

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bassert and McCurnin. Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians. 9th ed. Elsevier, 2018.

Lavin, Radiography in Veterinary Technology. 5th ed. Elsevier, 2014.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Weekly reading assignments from text, class handouts, and outside sources, ranging from 50-100 pages per week.

B. Written short answer essay questions, take home assignments on anatomy and other subjects.



Registered Veterinary Technician