What is an Equine Dental Examination?

A dental exam is a thorough examination of your horse’s mouth. When you have a dental exam of your own mouth your dentist spends time examining your entire mouth and uses instruments to assess each tooth. An equine dental exam is done in much the same way.

Your horse is seen by a veterinarian in a quiet place and is properly restrained, usually with adequate sedation. The mouth is kept open with a devise called a mouth speculum and the head is suspended for comfort of the horse and the veterinarian. Then the mouth is rinsed with water and visually inspected for any abnormalities. An instrument called a float is then used to remove any sharp points that may injure the cheeks or tongue and will allow the veterinarian to safely inspect the teeth by hand. Any areas on the molars that need correcting are done at this time. The speculum is then removed and excursion (side to side motion) of the jaw is checked. Finally the incisors are assessed to see if correction is needed. Your horse is then left to recover from the sedation, usually for 15 to 20 minutes. We suggest that you do not feed your horse for several hours after the sedation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us, we’d be happy to answer your questions.