At SEVS we believe you should always look every horse in the mouth, at least once a year! Gone are the days of not looking a gift horse in the mouth. The past few decades have advanced equine dental care by leaps and bounds. Horses’ teeth are different from ours, and grow continuously throughout life. The constant chewing and grinding of hay leads to sharp points on the upper outside edges and lower inside edges of teeth. Previously, a hand rasp was used to “float” (a carpentry term meaning to make level) teeth and their sharp points, and it was only done when horses were no longer maintaining weight or were quidding (dropping) feed when eating. This was the first step in comprehensive equine dentistry. While this correction helped many older horses, it was a late fix that often didn’t 100% correct problems like preventative care. Now, with the advent of excellent sedation, oral speculums and mechanized equipment, the vets at SEVS are able to do individualized equine dental care; frequently correcting minor problems before they can become major issues. What was once a physically demanding and difficult task is now an accurate, easy and gentler procedure for horses. The doctors at SEVS now provide mecanized occlusal equllibration (chewing surface balance) after a comprehensive oral exam to visualize cavities, fractures, gingivitis and other dental disorters before they lead to weight loss, problems chewing, and loss of performance. all floating procedures including reduction of enamel points, hooks, ramps, wave mouth, bit seats, and incisor teeth are accomplished with minimal discomfort to the patient. The small size of the abrasive surface and stationary guard permit easy access to all areas of the mouth on all breeds of horses. The instrumentation allows us to complete tasks quickly and with minimal contact to the soft tissues of the mouth. Trauma and bleeding in the oral mucosa is virtually eliminated.
Digital radiographs of teeth, skull bones, and sinuses may also help to determine if more invasive or alternate treatments are necessary for your horse. Consultations with dental specialists are available on an as needed basis
At SEVS we recommend a first oral exam and dental by two years of age, or before a bit is put into the horses’ mouth. At that point we can address any caps (retained baby teeth) or wolf teeth (extra teeth that may interfere with the bit). This will allow you’re young horse to progress in training without any oral pain interfering. Horses should then have an annual oral sedated exam to catch any minor issues and points before they become major. Based on annual exams, our vets may recommend more frequent or longer intervals between floats for your horse. Once a horse reaches 18 years of age, they are considered geriatric or aged, and should have twice a year exams as their teeth tend to have cumulative damage from wear and issues can arise quickly and severely in our older horse populations.