Regular dental examinations are essential for the well being of your horse, pony or donkey. For further information about the advantages of using your vet for dental work please click here or use the navigation bar to the left of the screen.
Dental examinations and treatment can improve performance by ensuring the mouth, cheeks and tongue are pain free, and also often reduce feed bills by allowing the teeth to grind together properly. In addition, earlier detection of underlying disease may be possible.
At Scarsdale Equine we offer free Dental Healthchecks at time of routine vaccination. Routine dental work incuding power work is also available under our Zone Visit Scheme. In addition to routine work we also offer:
- Wolf teeth removal
- Corrective dentistry
- Management of Diastemata and Periodontal Disease
- Dental Imaging
- Dental Surgery
Equine teeth are unique in several respects, which mean their dental requirements differ from those of other species. Here are some interesting points to consider:
- Horses form their adult teeth at a young age; these teeth are then stored within the sinuses (air filled spaces) and bones of the head, and erupt into the mouth continuously throughout life. This eruption process is fastest in young horses, and slows down with increasing age. As it is not possible for the horse to ‘grow’ any additional tooth once they have developed, their teeth will eventually wear out. The age that this occurs depends on factors including diet and dental management throughout life.
- In the wild, horses graze a wide variety of different forages for around 16 hours a day, which helps them to wear down their teeth naturally. Modern management practices often involve stabling horses for long periods of time, restricting access to forage and feeding large quantities of easily digested concentrate feed that requires little grinding; as a result of this domestic horses often require their teeth to be rasped (or filed) to allow them to grind food properly and increase comfort.
- Horses dental arcades are anisognathic, meaning that the upper jaws are set further apart than the lower arcades. Therefore as the teeth erupt sharp enamel points form on the outside (buccal) of the upper teeth, and inside (lingual) aspect of the lower teeth, which if left untreated can cause trauma to the cheeks and tongue respectively.
- A further point to consider is that the mouth is very long and narrow, and there is often little space between the cheeks and the teeth especially at the back of the mouth. This means that even slightly sharp teeth in this area can cause considerable discomfort.