The Business of Practice: Dentistry-Only Practices  

In this episode, Drs. Leah Limone and Amelie McAndrews discussed their journeys of starting dentistry-only equine practices.
Horse having its teeth floated by an equine veterinary dentist with a dentistry-only practice.
If an equine veterinarian is intrigued by dentistry, starting a dentistry-only practice can be a promising career option. | Getty Images

In this episode of The Business of Practice podcast, Leah Limone, DVM, DAVDC-Eq, and Amelie McAndrews, DVM, DAVDC-Eq, joined us to talk about starting their own dentistry-only practices. During the episode, they discussed their decisions to specialize in equine dental work and offered recommendations for equine veterinarians considering this career option.  

Limone and McAndrews both became interested in equine dentistry during their early practice years. Limone began practicing in Connecticut with a veterinarian who became her mentor in dentistry. His approach to dentistry was advanced for the time (almost 20 years ago), and she was intrigued by the pathology they discovered inside horses’ mouths. McAndrews told a similar story: “The more I looked, the more I found,” she said. She also found an established dental practitioner to mentor her.   

Both Limone and McAndrews went on to open their own practices focused on dentistry—Limone in Massachusetts 10 years ago and McAndrews in New Jersey in 2016. Limone said developing noncompetitive relationships with local veterinarians during her first few years of practice was essential. “We’re all working as a team for the good of the horse,” she said.  

McAndrews said getting used to clients coming and going and recognizing it did not reflect her abilities was a key lesson when she started her practice. In addition, she said knowing when to refer is essential, whether for complex cases or for bookkeeping tasks.  

Both practitioners began working toward their diplomate status in dentistry within a few years of starting their practices. They explained in detail how residency affected their lives. Limone said doing a part-time residency while working full-time and raising a family is “a balancing act on all fronts.” McAndrews added that the many hours of detailed learning was both exhilarating and tiring, but it was never a question that she would pursue the specialty degree. 

“It’s a great way of life and a great niche of practice,” concluded Limone. McAndrews said she has been overwhelmed by the response her mentorship of other veterinarians has elicited. “They’re so grateful, and it’s so rewarding.”  

About Leah Limone, DVM, DAVDC-Eq 

Limone is a Massachusetts native who earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and her veterinary degree from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. After an internship, she joined a mixed practice in Connecticut that focused on advanced dentistry. She spent five years in general equine practice and had started working toward a fellowship in equine dentistry with the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry in 2010. She left general practice and opened her own practice limited to dentistry in Massachusetts in 2014. The same year, the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) established a formal equine dentistry residency program for specialty board certification. Limone transitioned from working toward the fellowship to pursuing requirements for the residency program and in 2018 became a Board-Certified Veterinary Dentist with an equine specialty and a diplomate of the AVDC. Her practice, Northeast Equine Veterinary Dental Services, is devoted exclusively to high-quality general and advanced equine dentistry.  

Contact: leahlimonedvm@gmail.com 

About Amelie McAndrews, DVM, DAVDC-Eq 

McAndrews is a Connecticut native. She attended Michigan State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in animal science before graduating with her DVM in 2009. After completing an internship, she spent five years at a general equine practice in New Jersey, where her interests and caseload became increasingly focused on equine dentistry. After opening her own practice limited to dentistry, McAndrews completed a rigorous equine dentistry residency program from 2016-2020, culminating in becoming a Board-Certified Equine Dentist and a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College. Along with owning Garden State Equine Veterinary Dentistry, she is a clinical associate at University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, where she manages the referral dentistry caseload. 

Contact: mcandrews@gardenstateequine.com 

Disclaimer from sponsor: This content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual business, financial, legal, tax and/or other advisors with respect to any information presented. Synchrony and any of its affiliates, including CareCredit (collectively, “Synchrony”), make no representations or warranties regarding this content and accept no liability for any loss or harm arising from the use of the information provided. All statements and opinions in this article are the sole opinions of the author and roundtable participants. Your receipt of this material constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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