Bienville Animal Medical Center in Ocean Springs, Miss., is three hours from the nearest veterinary school, and there are
no referral dental services nearby. However, like most busy veterinarians, the owner, Dr. Chris Duke, often needs help in
endodontics, orthodontics, and complicated oral medicine and surgery cases.
Illustration by Phil Bliss
His solution is all in the family. His brother, Dr. Andrew Duke, a fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, drives 50
miles from Mobile, Ala., every other Thursday. He holds a dental clinic, seeing cases from Bienville and other practices in
the area. His average is five cases per day. He brings along a digital radiography system and laptop computer and stores the
radiographs and images of these cases for his own records, referral letters, and presentations.
It's a win-win for Dr. Chris Duke. "Income for the practice is generated by procedures we'd not otherwise be doing," he says.
Fees are shared 50-50, a fairly liberal split, because Dr. Duke's brother brings his own equipment. Plus, being able to offer
the services adds to client and doctor satisfaction. "We're able to better serve clients' needs, and our patients receive
high-quality dental work," he says.
No veterinary dentists in the family? No problem. Ask around for specialists within a wide radius who might be willing to
pick up cases at your clinic and the surrounding area every couple of weeks. It never hurts to ask.