Dentistry

To keep up to date with the latest advances in Equine Dentistry Tom has attended the latest joint British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) / British Veterinary Dental association (BVDA) joint course. At Beningbrough Equine we offer both manual hand rasping and more advanced motorised treatments.

Common Dental issues horse suffer from:

  • Sharpe Enamel Points & Overgrowths – With abnormal wear the cheek teeth may develop sharp points or overgrowths that can cause pain or restrictions to the horses eating habits.
  • Retained ‘Caps’ – These are remnants of deciduous (baby) teeth, that are normally shed during eruption of the permanent tooth, can cause mouth pain and may delay cheek teeth eruption. Early removal destroys the blood supply to the erupting permanent tooth. For this reason, only loose, displaced or rotated caps should be removed.
  • Diastema – Gaps that have developed between the teeth. These gaps can result in abnormal overgrowths, on the affected arcade from restricted movement (sheer mouth) and on the opposing arcade that exacerbate the diastema. Food can become impacted into these gaps which can lead to periodontal disease and possible abscesses around the tooth. With motorised rasping treatment can be carried out to reduce offending overgrowths and to widen the gap so that food no longer gets stuck after removal of impacted food (VET ONLY).
  • Wolf Teeth – The first Premolar found in front of the first cheek tooth usually on the upper arcades. They usually erupt at 1 year of age and many are lost when the first deciduous cheek tooth (Cap) is shed. It is debatable if they cause any problems, yet if they are abnormally placed a horse may present with mouth discomfort.
  • Infections – Infections to the cheek teeth roots can result in localised abscess formation and damage to surrounding tissues, which may lead to the removal of the affected tooth. A secondary effect may be the development of infection of the adjacent sinus (sinusitis).

If you are concerned that your horse may be suffering from mouth pain, showing signs of inappetence, weight loss, or bit resentment please contact us, and we will be happy to perform a full dental examination.

Update on Regulation of Dental Procedures

All diagnostic and treatment procedures in the horse’s mouth are ‘Acts of Veterinary Surgery’ under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. However, a limited number of procedures may be delegated safely to suitably qualified EDTs. All dental procedures have been categorised into three groups:

Category 1 – Procedures that are not Acts of Veterinary Surgery Performed by an individual after recognised training without specific attainment of qualifications.

Examination of teeth;

  • Removal of sharp enamel points using manual rasps only;
  • Removal of small dental overgrowths (maximum 4mm reductions) using manual rasps only;
  • Rostral profiling of the first cheek teeth (maximum 4mm reductions), previously termed ‘bit seat shaping’
  • Removal of loose deciduous caps; and Removal of supragingival calculus.

Category 2 – Procedures that are Acts of Veterinary Surgery but can be safely delegated to suitably qualified Equine Dental Technicians (EDTs) who have trained and passed an examination approved by DEFRA:

  • Examination, evaluation and recording of dental abnormalities;
  • The removal of loose teeth or dental fragments with negligible periodontal attachments
  • The removal of erupted, non-displaced wolf teeth in the upper or lower jaw under direct and continuous veterinary supervision;
  • Palliative rasping of fractured and adjacent teeth;
  • and
  • The use of motorised dental instruments where these are used to reduce overgrowths and remove sharp enamel points only. Horses should be sedated unless it is deemed safe to undertake any proposed procedure without sedation, with full informed consent of the owner.

Category 3 – Procedures that are Acts of Veterinary Surgery and cannot be safely delegated. Procedures restricted to qualified veterinary surgeons. It is therefore NOT legal for these to be performed by non-veterinarians.

If you choose to use an EDT it is our advice you fully check their qualifications and registration with the relevant professional association.

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