Equine Dentistry

Regular dental examinations are essential for the well being of your horse, pony or donkey.

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.

Routine dental work including power work is also available under our protective healthcare visits.

Why use your equine vetfor dental work

All veterinary surgeons are fully qualified to perform all dental work.  At Scarsdale Equine many of our vets have also undergone further training in routine and advanced dental procedures so you can be sure your horse is getting the best possible up-to-date dental care.

Many horses resent dental work being performed. Veterinary surgeons can administer sedation to enable safe and thorough examination and treatment of the mouth and teeth. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to perform high quality dentistry in a horse that is constantly moving his head

Any health concerns and preventative health measures, such as dietary modification to aid management of dental conditions,  can often be discussed whilst dental work is being performed

Veterinary Surgeons can administer local anaesthetic, pain relief and antibiotics if necessary

At Scarsdale Equine we have access to equipment such as digital radiography, dental endoscopy and sinoscopy to aid our diagnosis in more complicated cases.  In addition we are able to perform dental surgery, such as extractions, at our clinic

Dental Requirements For Horses

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:

  • Adult teeth
    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.
  • Wearing teeth naturally
    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.
  • Avoiding mouth trauma
    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.

Farm & Equine

Our dedicated Equine Practice

Farm & Equine

Markeaton Lane, Markeaton, Derby DE22 4NH
01332 294929
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