Equine Dentistry

Over the last years, Annemarie has spent time at different postgraduate courses to get skilled in the field of Equine Dentistry. In the modern day performance horse, which lives longer and eats a totally different diet from its ancestors, regular dental care is a must. After external examination of the head, the horse is sedated, a mouth speculum fitted, and the oral cavity is examined carefully with a light and a mirror.

After a thorough exam, all the findings will be written down on a dental chart for future reference. Once it is established what needs to be done, treatment usually includes floating of sharp enamel points. Other issues we usually see are excessive transverse ridges, periodontal disease, diastemas (spaces between the teeth). These conditions are very common and can be incredibly painful.

In young horses we regularly find caps and wolf teeth that need to be removed. Caps are baby teeth that normally get pushed out by the adult tooth underneath. Sometimes they get stuck and can be irritating and cause inflammation because of their sharp edges and the ability to pack food between them and the adult tooth.

In some cases we find infected adult teeth. They can be discovered for the first time during an oral examination. If they persist for a longer time, the infection can break through into the sinus, which leads to nasal discharge, or into the bottom jaw. In the latter case you can see a discharging opening from the skin of the bottom jaw. To properly investigate these infections, radiographs of the head are necessary. Interesting articles and lots of examples and pictures can be found on www.equinedentalvets.com