Good dental care is essential for your horse’s general health. Generally speaking horses should have a dental examination with appropriate treatment performed once a year, usually done at the time of their annual vaccinations. If your horse has dental abnormalities then it maybe that dental treatment is recommended more regularly i.e. once every 6 months.
The vast majority of equine dentistry is relatively routine and tends to involve floating (rasping) the sharp enamel points, which grow on the teeth. These, if present, are usually found on the buccal aspect (cheek side) of the teeth on the upper arcades and on the lingual aspect (tongue side) of the teeth on the lower arcades. If left unattended, sometimes these sharp enamel points can cause painful areas of ulceration within the mouth.
As horses get older they can also develop other dental abnormalities, such as tooth decay, diastemata (gaps between the teeth which trap food) and teeth may become loose and fall out.
Signs of dental disease and oral discomfort in your horse can include:
If you notice any of these signs then please contact Central Equine Vets on: 0131 664 5606 to arrange for a dental examination.
The vets at Central Equine Vets are all very experienced in equine dentistry. We have hand rasps (including specialist small rasps for small ponies), power floats (motorized rasps) as well as an X-ray machine for performing dental radiographs.
Before and after dental pictures – note sharp enamel points on the left photo with associated buccal (cheek ulceration). The right photo shows properly floated (rasped) teeth. Now that there are no more sharp enamel points the ulcers will heal.
A routine dental examination generally takes 30-60 minutes and involves your horse's mouth and teeth being examined closely by the vet. We recommend that this is performed under sedation, as this allows the vet to get a thorough job done and also reduces any potential stress for the horse, vet and handler and stops the horse from making any sudden movements, which reduces potential injuries for all concerned.