WSAVA Award Recognizes Pioneer in Veterinary Dentistry

July 11, 2018
Amanda Carrozza

Amanda Carrozza is a freelance writer and editor in New Jersey.

This year’s Award for Scientific Achievement recognizes a professor emeritus of surgery and dentistry for his extensive work.

The 2018 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Award for Scientific Achievement has been presented to Colin Harvey, BVSc, FRCVS, DACVS, DAVDC, FAVD, professor emeritus of surgery and dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet). The award recognizes Dr. Harvey’s extensive work highlighting the importance of veterinary oral and dental conditions in companion animals as well as developing tools to incorporate dental procedures and preventive strategies into daily veterinary practice.

Until his retirement in 2013, Dr. Harvey served as professor of surgery and dentistry at Penn Vet for 33 years. As a boarded specialist in both surgery and dentistry, he is credited for introducing a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures into clinical, teaching, and research activities. Dr. Harvey’s work also led to improvements in major oral surgery reconstructive techniques necessary for cancer patients, as well as in the management of oral trauma.


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“Dr. Harvey has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of veterinary oral health and has influenced both the science and practice of veterinary dental medicine worldwide," Gad Baneth, DVM, PhD, chair of WSAVA’s scientific advisory committee, said.

His impact on the oral health community transcends veterinary medicine. Dr. Harvey’s interest in the relationship between oral health and systemic health in companion animals led to collaborative work that resulted in the confirmation that worsening periodontal disease in humans is associated with organ pathology in the kidney, liver, and heart.

In addition to his research and teachings, Dr. Harvey was a founding member of the American Veterinary Dental Society—the first veterinary dental organization. He was also a member of the organizing committee for the American Veterinary Dental College and was elected its first president-elect. Dr. Harvey also organized the group that founded the Veterinary Oral Health Council, which authorizes the use of the VOHC Registered Seal on dental products for animals.

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

Dr. Harvey will be formally presented with this award during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place September 25-28 in Singapore.