Horses teeth continuously grow throughout their lifetime and they develop sharp points and even if they are removed routinely they will reoccur. It is recommended to get six monthly checkups for horses so you can have the sharp enamel points taken off. For the surgical end of it, horses with fractured teeth or displaced teeth, abnormal spacing of their teeth and anything that basically causes them pain starts and they’re in the more complicated cases. Often the best plan is if we sedate the horse, put them in a horse stock and then check them over thoroughly. Equine dentists use an endoscope to get a really good idea of what’s going on with the horses teeth.
Great owners are very good at picking up problems, sometimes they’ve seen a problem and not realized it like anything from horses with bad breath or the horse might have a difficulty when they’re riding like tilting their head. Some horses may go off their feed or drop their feed. Large horses can be a challenge but when put in a horse stock an equine dentist can safely sedate the horse where they can usually tolerate the injections really well. The sedatives are very quick acting. Equine dentistry has evolved hugely over the last ten years where the changes go from simply being really good at taking teeth out of horses to the modern approach of trying to preserve the horses teeth and keep them there for as long as possible. Sometimes thoroughbred horses can be a little bit twitchy under sedation because they run on quite high levels of adrenaline. Horse dentists usually start with an examination of the horse by checking the underneath surface of the teeth with the help of an endoscopy or digital x-rays of the horses mouth. Most horses will have to have their teeth *floated at least once per year and should be checked twice a year.
*Horse teeth floating is the practice of filing off any sharp edges or hooks that may form on the edges of the teeth.