A horse dentist can specialize in several different areas, from those who perform routine equine dentistry to specialists in cosmetic dentistry. These vets take x-rays, clean teeth, remove teeth and perform oral surgery on horses, as well as recommend ways to maintain the health of their horse’s teeth to prevent future problems that can lead to more serious issues later on. But what does a horse dentist do, exactly? Here’s everything you need to know about this fascinating profession.
As equine dental specialists, horse dentists perform regular horse teeth care to remove infected or rotten teeth. Depending on your horse’s health and eating habits, these types of extractions can be done more than once a year. A lot of people don’t realize that horse teeth have different needs based on what they eat, just like humans do. That’s why it’s so important to have them routinely checked and cleaned by a trained professional—no matter how healthy your animal looks. There are several instances when an extraction may be necessary. For example: When an adult tooth is shedding but not yet replaced by its permanent successor.
As far as horses are concerned, it’s not enough to just know what their teeth look like on the outside. Just like people, horses need their teeth cleaned and checked regularly. After all, if you don’t take care of your own teeth, it doesn’t matter how pretty they are—you won’t be able to chew properly or speak clearly. The same is true for horses: they can only eat if they have healthy gums and strong teeth. A Horse dentist is an expert at dental care for animals—he can perform tasks such as removing tartar, flushing out tooth decay or repairing cracks in your horse’s enamel with pinpoint accuracy.
Knowing if your horse needs dental work is often difficult, especially since symptoms aren’t always obvious. But taking an annual look at his teeth will help you spot problems early on, which will improve your horse’s overall health. So, what does a horse dentist do when he examines a mouth? To begin with, there are two major concerns: cavities and gum disease. Cavities are caused by sugars fermenting in plaque and producing acids that erode tooth enamel; gum disease is essentially inflammation of the tissue that surrounds and supports teeth (gums). Both conditions can lead to pain for your horse as well as the excess risk of tooth loss.
There are many diets out there, and it can be hard to know what is best for your horse. It seems that almost everyone claims their diet or nutrition plan is best, but if you aren’t sure what to feed your horse, you can easily make mistakes. A horse dentist is someone who specializes in equine dental care and uses advanced techniques to help optimize feeding plans for horses.
The word prophylaxis comes from Greek roots meaning to ward off. You don’t need to know what that means to grasp its significance when it comes to horse dentistry. Prophylaxis refers to dental care given before any issues arise. What does that look like in practice? An equine dentist will perform an initial examination of your horse’s teeth and gums, then determine how often future checkups should take place. The recommendation might be once every six months or yearly, depending on individual circumstances. These regular checkups include comprehensive oral exams and diagnostic tests (x-rays), which may help reveal early signs of periodontal disease, tooth decay or other conditions—even if your horse doesn’t experience any discomfort at first.