Equine Dentistry & Floating Teeth Annually
Equine dentistry and the floating of your horse's teeth is a matter that should be addressed on a yearly basis as a part of a comprehensive well-horse program. Floating is the term used in the equine industry as the procedure that removes sharp points from the teeth that inflict damage to the cheeks and tongue. The reason the procedure is needed is a simple matter that is based in the differing width of the maxillary, i.e. the upper teeth and the mandible arcades, i.e. the lower teeth. Due to this differing width (see photo), the teeth do not grind together evenly and the result is the development of sharp enamel points that can cause pain, alter the chewing pattern, and affect performance.
The teeth are evaluated with the aid of a full mouth speculum that allows access to the entire oral cavity. Access is essential and often sedation is used as means of calming the patient and allowing the procedure to occur as quickly, stress-free, and comfortably as possible. The doctors at Mid-Rivers Equine utilize power dentistry tools almost exclusively. These instruments allow for a shorter procedure and dramatically less discomfort for the patient. The use of powered instruments has revolutionized the dental industry and provides tremendous benefits over the traditional hand files of the past.
Floating your horse's teeth as a routine part of health care is important because the passage of time complicates dental problems. Small dental issues, although not debilitating, can, untreated, turn into a much larger problem down the road. Including: discomfort, ulcers, change in eating habits, and pain when using a bit during performance. A relatively simple procedure yearly will go a very long way in keeping your horse healthy and pain free.