Vet dentistry champ receives WSAVA award

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veterinary dentistryEmeritus Professor Colin Harvey is the recipient of the prestigious 2018 World Small Animal Veterinary Association Award for Scientific Achievement in recognition of his work to highlight the importance of veterinary oral and dental conditions in companion animals, and in developing tools to support the incorporation of dental procedures and dental preventive strategy into daily veterinary practice.

The award, given annually to an individual judged to have made a significant contribution to the field of small animal medicine, will be presented during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 25-28 September in Singapore.

Until his retirement in 2013, Harvey was Professor of Surgery and Dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held for 33 years. During this time, he introduced a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures into clinical, teaching and research activities.

His interest in the relationship between oral health and systemic health in companion animals led to collaborative work that resulted in confirmation of the epidemiological findings in humans that worsening periodontal disease is associated with distant organ (kidney, liver, heart) pathology.

Professor Harvey also developed the Penn Canine and Feline Periodontal Scoring spreadsheet which charts the wide variation in the size and shape of teeth in dogs and cats when scoring the severity of periodontal disease; this spreadsheet is now in use by veterinarians around the world.

“I’m honoured to receive this award and appreciative of the increased attention that dental and oral diseases are now receiving in small animal practice,” Professor Harvey said.

“As a clinician, I enjoy dentistry because it involves meticulous work and uses a variety of equipment and instruments.  A good dentist is a sculptor, even when performing ‘simple’ procedures such as surgical extractions.”

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