ABOUT DR. EMILY
PETER P. EMILY, DDS, Hon. AVDC
Founder, Board of Directors, and Co-Chair
Dr. Emily is an accomplished human and veterinary dentist with a career spanning over 40 years. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery at Creighton University, Omaha Nebraska and his Certificate of Periodontology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Emily later went on to receive his post-graduate certification in Pediatric Dentistry, Endodontics, Oral Surgery and Restorative/Prosthetic Dentistry from the Dental Division of Denver General Hospital. When Dr. Emily graduated from dental school in the 1960s, the standard operating procedure for animal dentistry was limited to cleaning and extractions.
Dr. Emily is an Honorary Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry. He currently holds the position of Faculty Affiliate of Animal Dentistry at Colorado State University, School of Veterinary Medicine, is a past Dental Faculty Affiliate at the University of Missouri at Columbia, and is Director of Exotic Animal Dentistry at the Denver Zoological Gardens. Dr. Emily has also worked extensively on the biomechanics of movement and kinesiology. Dr. Emily is past president of the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). When the AVDS wanted to become a board specialty, Dr. Emily was one of four veterinarians who approached the specialty board to understand the requirements for board recognition. Dr. Emily was one of three veterinarians who developed and administered the initial Academy of Veterinary Dentistry entrance exams.
Later, the three veterinarians and Dr. Emily developed and administered a 3-part exam process for acceptance into the College of Veterinary Dentistry, and this same 3-part format is still used today. Additionally, Dr. Emily designed the logo and the pins for the AVDS, the AVD and AVDC, as well as those for the review and assessment exam, and also hand casts a custom gold medallion for the Research and Education award for the AVDS.
Dr. Emily became involved with judging show dogs, and in the capacity as judge, was regularly coming across dogs born with such problems as defective bites and missing teeth. An innovator and inventor, Dr. Emily adapted the tools used in his human dental practice to be usable in the reparation of animal dental problems. Dr. Emily has for years been helping small domestic animals, large exotic animals and equines in the United States and abroad.
For years he has helped the animals of Siegfried and Roy. The Denver Zoo has also called upon Dr. Emily to perform repairs on the beak on hornbills and toucans, as well as caring for kangaroos, wild dogs, polar bears, grizzlies and orangutans, to name but a few of the many species on which Dr. Emily works. In the early days, many zoos did not have the proper facilities for working on exotic animals, so improvisation was key. For example, at the Denver Zoo, Dr. Emily improvised, using the hydraulic lift of a pickup truck to perform a surgical root canal on a polar bear.
Dr. Emily has also worked on animals in the wild, such as a black-footed ferret, for which Dr. Emily fashioned a gold tooth. Through Dr. Emily's efforts, in the mid 1980s, Colorado State University was the first school to offer a course in Veterinary Dentistry to students and practitioners. Dr. Emily presented this first course offering, and has now returned to CSU in this role.
Although semi-retired, Dr. Emily continues to work with the Denver Zoo, Siegfried and Roy, Deer Creek Animal Hospital and often on any interesting case that is put in front of this ever- curious innovator and lover of animals. When not working in the mouths of people and animals, Dr. Emily serves as the Dental Consultant and Conformation Judge for the American Kennel Club.
Dr. Emily has written and presented extensively including author and co-authorship of three veterinary dental textbooks and multiple dental publications and manuscripts.
He has lectured extensively on all phases of animal dentistry for over 20 years to veterinary groups and dog clubs throughout the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Brasil and Japan . In addition, he has conducted extensive research and development of veterinary dental medicaments and oral health aids.
- During 2005-2009, Dr. Emily’s private foundation, the Peter Emily Veterinary Dental Institute (PEVDI), distributed annual working grants for outstanding contributions by an organization and/or individual providing for the dental needs of Disadvantaged Small Animals, Disadvantaged Zoo and Wild Animals, and Equines.
- The American Veterinary Dental College named one of its annual awards to Outstanding Contributors to Veterinary Dentistry after Dr. Emily, called the "The Peter Emily Award".
- American Animal Hospital Association Award of Merit Recipient 1992
- Award of Merit, Western States Veterinary Conference 2002