At Northwest Equine Veterinary Associates, we have been especially dedicated to equine dentistry and periodontics for many years. We utilize modern dental equipment designed specifically for the equine mouth, which allows for detailed equilibration and correction of abnormalities. Typically, horses should have their teeth floated every 12 months for general maintenance. If they are noted to have severe overgrowth of any teeth or periodontal disease, they may need to have a dental performed every 6-9 months.
Common signs of dental problems include:
• Dropping feed or small bundles of chewed hay
• Difficulty chewing or excessive drooling
• Bad breath
• Poor performance, reluctance to exercise
• Fighting or chewing the bit, head tossing
Routine Dentistry (Floating)
Horses have a unique type of tooth in that the tooth is continuously erupting from the root. Because of this, they are predisposed to developing sharp points on the outside of their upper cheek teeth (premolars and molars) and on the inside of their lower cheek teeth. These points can dig into the cheek or tongue and cause painful ulcers. If a tooth is missing, the opposing tooth can overgrow and cause difficulty chewing. Routine floating typically includes the removal of these sharp points as well as any hooks, steps (tall teeth), or waves (mild overgrowths) in the dental arcades. The incisors will be examined and corrected as needed. Power tools are utilized to perform the most accurate and efficient dental possible for the comfort of your horse. Every horse is administered an anti-inflammatory with their dental to prevent any soreness after the procedure.
With modern equipment, we are also capable of treating both minor and major dental disorders such as cavities, tooth root disease, and tooth fractures as well as periodontal disease. In some of these cases, advanced restorations or extractions may be necessary. These procedures may be done at your farm or at our clinic, although some advanced extractions may need to be brought into the clinic to use specialized equipment only available at the clinic facility.