Dr. Jenna Winer is a third-year resident in the Dentistry & Oral Surgery Service. She earned her veterinary degree from UC Davis in 2014. Dr. Winer then returned home to complete a rotating small animal internship at the Animal Specialty and Emergency Center (ASEC), a private practice in Los Angeles. She developed an interest in dentistry when she published a manuscript on sea otter dental pathology during her third year of veterinary school. Her special interests include dentistry of wildlife/zoo species and maxillofacial surgery.

Get to know Dr. Winer…
Why did you choose the UC Davis residency program?
UC Davis has the world’s premiere training program in Dentistry and Oral Surgery. I was lucky enough to complete research with Drs. Verstraete and Arzi while in veterinary school, which culminated in two scientific publications. This ignited my passion for dentistry and oral surgery, and I knew that I wanted to continue my advanced training under their mentorship. UC Davis attracts clients and pets from all over the United States, and beyond. The combination of excellent faculty guidance, varied and challenging caseload, and location in my home state made UC Davis the obvious choice.

What do you plan to do at the completion of your residency?
I am honored and excited to join a specialty practice a few miles from my hometown, A.C.C.E.S.S. in Culver City. The practice is comprised of a variety of veterinary specialists, including a board-certified dentist, Dr. Tsugawa, who also completed his residency training at UC Davis. Personally, I am very much looking forward to taking a trip to Iceland with my fiancé. International travel is one of my biggest passions, and planning this trip has been a welcomed study break.

Are you working on a resident research project?
My resident research projects have focused on feline chronic gingivostomatitis, our use of 3-D printing in maxillofacial surgery, dental disease in small-breed dogs, and dental and temporomandibular joint pathology in a variety of Alaskan wildlife species. My current project reports on retrobulbar (“behind the eye”) disorders in a large cohort of dogs. Our service treats quite a few of these patients because disease behind the eye can manifest as pain on opening the mouth. It was rewarding to collaborate with a variety of mentors from different services on this project (Diagnostic Imaging, Ophthalmology, etc.). The best medicine is borne out of teamwork, and this project really highlights the cooperation and collaboration for which UC Davis is known.

What makes your work so rewarding?
Part of what makes my work so rewarding is the variety of conditions we treat, and therefore the number of pets we can help. We perform everything from routine periodontal treatment (“teeth cleaning”) and extractions, to root canal treatments in order to preserve broken teeth, to partial jaw amputation in order to cure cancer of the mouth, to jaw fracture fixation and other maxillofacial trauma repair. The mouth is often a neglected body part in our pets, and it is amazing to see an older pet transform after undergoing extractions to remove painful or infected teeth.

Why did you choose to become a veterinarian and seek advanced training?
Around the age of 5, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I entered veterinary school hoping to become a zoo veterinarian, but part-way through my education, I realized that career wasn’t a good fit for me. As I mentioned previously, I completed a research project with Dr. Verstraete. Completing that project, taking his vet school course, and chatting about dentistry and oral surgery cases with my D.D.S. father spurred my passion for my specialty. Veterinary dentistry and oral surgery is an avenue that empowers me to dramatically improve the quality of life of pets, as well as perform life-saving surgeries.

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