Horses teeth are very different to human teeth and will continue to erupt throughout the life of the tooth. As the horse chews its food, it grinds down the surface of the tooth which results in the development of sharp enamel points on the outside of the upper jaw and the inside of the lower jaw. These sharp enamel points can then cause painful soft tissue ulceration in the mouth, especially when we place metals bits in horse mouths. Routine rasping or floating should be carried out at least on an annual basis, however if your horse is competing at a high level or has specific dental problems then more frequent examinations may be required. People often think that as their horse gets older then they no longer need to have dental examinations. This is certainly not the case as older horses often develop serious dental problems which can lead to weight loss and other illness.
If your horse has a more severe problem, then we have the full range of power equipment to carry out such work. When working with power instruments the horse needs to be sedated to prevent injuries to both itself and the vet or handler. If there is any indication that there is severe damage or infection of the tooth root, then we have all the imaging facilities available at the hospital including the world’s first standing CT scanner to allow accurate identification of the problem.
We perform a large number of dental extractions at the hospital and have a good working relationship with registered BAEDT dental technicians. We are happy to accept referrals from veterinary surgeons or dental technicians for advanced dental procedures.