5Over the past 20 years the field of equine dentistry has changed dramatically. Gone are the days when horses were ‘wrestled’ with a bucket full of hand rasps to remove the sharp edges and a very limited dental examination was performed. As our understandings of dental disease, pathology and technology have progressed so has our equine dentistry. Now your horse’s 6-12 month dental examination should be much more like the type of dentistry you receive when you visit your dentist. It should largely be about identifying problems early and working to prevent issues developing. To facilitate this the vast majority of horses on which we perform dentistry receive a dose of standing sedation. This has several benefits.

  • It allows a thorough veterinary examination of the teeth, oral cavity and associated soft tissue.
  • Allows safe and precise maintenance treatment, ‘rasping’ of your horse’s teeth to remove dental overgrowths and sharp points
  • Provides increased comfort for the patient and improved safety for both patient, the vet and yourself.

Sedation is widely and safely used in many areas of veterinary medicine and our vets will always listen to your horses’ heart prior to administration of this medication.

Horses can be very stoic animals especially when it comes to dental disease and there can be very significant pathology present with little or no outward clinical signs of dental disease evident. See the recent BHS campaign, ‘No Pain, Check Again’, for further information https://www.bhs.org.uk/advice-and-information/horse-health-and-sickness/teeth. It is important that all equines undergo at least a yearly dental examination. For young horses, who’s teeth are changing rapidly, or older horses, where pathology is developing, we may recommend a shorter interval between examinations. Small companion ponies and donkeys can have particularly severe dental disease, don’t forget to have them checked too.

All of our vets receive regular dental CPD to ensure they provide a high standard of equine dentistry to all our equine patients from the hairy hacks to top competition horses. Dentistry is performed with modern light weight motorised equipment with your horse’s head resting on a padded head stand so the vet can directly visualise the work they are performing. Much of our dental work can be provided at your yard, often on our zone visits and as part of our Healthy Horse Plan.

For more advanced work we may ask you to transport your horse to our Fairmoor clinic where we have use of stocks, imaging including endoscopy (a camera allowing us to image the teeth and inside of the mouth) and digital radiography, additional equipment and nursing care. Cases that require prolonged treatment can be hospitalised and receive ongoing care at our facility from our veterinary and 24 hours nursing teams.

Advanced techniques that can be performed at Fairmoor

  • Oral extractions of incisors, canines and cheek teeth under standing sedation
  • Sinus surgery
  • Treatment of periodontal disease – e.g. cleaning and bridging diastema
  • Cavity restorations for cheek teeth and incisors– infundibular restorations
  • Endodontic (root canal therapy) for fractured canines and incisors

Digital radiography of teeth and associated structures.

Our Healthy Horse Plan includes a yearly dental examination and routine treatment with sedation and if your horse requires any further work or repeat examinations within the year you will receive 10% off any further costs. We also offer reduced price routine dental examinations and treatment at Fairmoor on Wednesdays. Please contact 01670 897587 for further details or to book an appointment.

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