Becoming an Equine Dental Technician
Equine Dental Technicians assist veterinarians in providing dental care to the horse animals. Their main duty is to make floating or rasping of horse’s teeth. Besides, they determine the age of a horse by the condition of its teeth, conduct various laboratory tests, provide medication, take x-rays, perform routine examinations, maintain the required equipments, assist in diagnosing and treatment. They also guide the owners on animal home-care procedures for better health.
Equine Dental Technicians are employed at both government and private settings including hospitals, clinics, farms, laboratories, educational institutions, research centers and related field. Sometimes, they have to work at outdoors in different weather conditions.
To become an Equine Dental Technician, the aspiring candidates need to complete at least an associate or bachelor’s degree program in veterinary technology. The coursework for these programs cover anatomy of the equine head and neck, the study of tooth numbering, an overview of common problems, an overview of dental equilibration techniques etc.
Certification and Licensure
Since many states in the USA require an Equine Dental Technician to be licensed, the aspiring candidates need to complete accredited veterinary technology training programs and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). The candidates can also obtain certification in this field after taking a required examination.
Besides clinical knowledge, Equine Dental Technicians possess various skills such as getting familiar with horses and various equipments, sympathetic to animal needs, comfortable in working at odd hours, physically strong to handle animals, ability to pay detail attention, pleasant communication and interpersonal skills with co-workers so on and so forth.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for an Equine Dental Technician remains excellent across the USA. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for this profession may rise 52% from 2010 to 2020, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of an Equine Dental Technician was $69,000 in 2012.