Good dental health is vital in preventing problems in young horses, maintaining performance in adult horses and ensuring longevity and weight retention in older horses. Dental disease can be responsible for schooling and bit problems, weight loss and eating disorders. The Mount Veterinary Hospital is very well equipped to carry out equine dentistry to a high standard and all our equine vets are trained in modern equine dental techniques.
In all but minor rasping in quiet horses, sedation is often used to enable us to carry out a thorough examination and any necessary treatment of your horse’s mouth. Unlike equine dentists, veterinary surgeons are able to administer and monitor sedation, allowing a safe, thorough, effective and calm procedure.
Following sedation, your horse’s mouth will be rinsed using a large syringe to clear food matter. A full mouth speculum (gag) is placed in the mouth to allow safe examination. The speculum is comfortable for the horse and fits similarly to a bridle. Using a powerful head torch the vet can examine every tooth in the mouth – dental mirrors and picks may also be used.
Following thorough examination, a range of tungsten alloy rasps and other equipment will be used to carry out any necessary dental procedures. These might include:
- Routine rasping (removal of sharp points which can damage the cheeks or tongue)
- Reduction of overgrown teeth
- Reduction of rostral and caudal hooks
- Removal of deciduous caps
- Removal of wolf teeth
- Removal of mobile teeth
- Wave, shear and step mouth treatments
The latest powered dental equipment with a range of rasps and flexible drives is used to ensure an efficient and low impact procedure on your horse. The power float dental rasp is much kinder on the horse and so we use it as our primary tool for this sort of work. This often negates the need for sedation. All dental equipment is cleaned and disinfected between each patient.
Regular dental examinations are essential for all ages of horse. In general, dental examinations should be carried out every 6-12 months and can often be combined with your horse’s routine vaccinations. We will check younger horses for any problems with tooth eruption and to identify abnormal wear early. Adult horses may need routine tooth rasping as necessary to maintain an optimal grinding surface and prevent any problems developing. Older horses may have more signs of dental disease and treatment is aimed at preserving tooth function for as long as possible.
Please give us a ring on 01823 662286 if you would like to discuss your horse’s dental health with one of our equine vets or arrange a dental examination for your horse.