Routine dental examinations are an essential part of your horse’s health care but is unfortunately often overlooked by owners for the following reasons:
- The mouth is inaccessible meaning sores and ulcers cannot easily be observed.
- Horses will tolerate severe dental abnormalities and pain without showing many clinical symptoms.
- Many horses receive dental work performed by unqualified people who do not have adequate education or training.
- Equine dentistry has historically been undertaken in a reactive manner when there is advanced problem rather than trying to identify early disease and prevent progression.
By undertaking regular examinations, severe, painful dental related problems can be minimised or prevented.
How frequently should my horse’s mouth be examined?
We recommend that all horses undergo a dental examination at least once a year. Some horses such as those expected to perform at a high level and those with specific dental abnormalities might benefit from more frequent examinations.
Who should rasp my horses teeth?
- Have received dentistry training during their time at University and are fully qualified to examine and rasp horse’s teeth.
- Undertake further dental training with Chris Pearce (www.equinedentalclinic.co.uk) – one of the worlds most experienced equine veterinary dental practitioners.
- Can administer prescription drugs such as sedatives, local anaesthetics and pain killer drugs allowing safer more comfortable treatment.
- Provide equine dental care but may have no formal training or qualifications.
- No legally recognised qualification for Equine Dental technicians. The British Association of Equine Dental Technicians (BAEDT) administrate an exam to prove competency and should you decide to use the services of an Equine dental technician we advise that one that has undertaken this examination and is a member of BAEDT is used.
- Cannot sedate or administer drugs.
What should you expect?
- Thorough oral and dental examination – assessment of teeth and soft tissues – using head torch, probes and mirrors.
- Controlled reduction of sharp points and balancing dental arcades (using hand rasps or modern lightweight motorised instruments)
- Dental charts to record findings and work performed.
- More advanced techniques such as wolf tooth removal and tooth extraction can be undertaken along with the use of a dental endoscope to help visualise the mouth and teeth.
In order to allow a proper examination we advise that all horses receive a little sedation. Not only does this allow thorough, controlled examination, it also increases the safety for both horse and owner. We understand that some owners prefer their horses not to be sedated and we are happy to examine your horse without sedation if requested to do so.
We will sedate horses for work to be performed by BAEDT members if requested in advance and an appropriate consent form is completed.