Our horses health is important; from getting the right farrier, the best riding instructor, the properly qualified physio, and correctly fitted tack. Why do we then go to look for a cheap deal for our equine dental care? It’s a question that has plagued me for many years.
Horses teeth continually grow from the moment they appear through the gum line til the day they begin to fall out. This type of dentition is known as Hypsodont. Horses share this type of tooth with cattle, sheep and rabbits. These teeth are designed to grind down fibrous material such as hay, haylage and grass.
Horses have a side to side grinding action this means that in the upper jaw the teeth become sharp on the outside and in the lower jaw they become sharp on the inside (closest to the tongue). In the wild due to the type of forage equines eat, there is less dental disease (high fibre, low sugar). In the modern equine dental disease is more common due to the higher sugar, lower fibre diet they are fed.
What to look for in a dentist:
- Are they a qualified? An equine vet? https://findavet.rcvs.org.uk/home/
- Are they on the BAEDT register? https://baedt.com/member-list/
- Are they insured? All qualified equine dentists and vets will have insurance.
- Do they have the right equipment? A fully qualified BAEDT or Vet will use power tools. Those that aren’t fully qualified (category 1) won’t.
What equine dentists can work alongside vets?
Vets can only sedate for those on the BAEDT register. These wonderful folk, are recognised as fully qualified dental technicians and we know they are safe and knowledgeable. We will not sedate for those who are not qualified. This is due to the concern that it could lead to unnecessary damage being done to your four legged companions mouth. There is also no comeback for you as an owner with these unqualified individual people.
Here at Little Rock Equine Vets, we have seen a lot of teeth that have been done by unqualified individual recently, and the damage that has been done may well take years to correct, causing unnecessary pain for those horse.
Ultimately, the longer you can keep your horses mouth healthy, the longer they will be able to maintain themselves. Giving them and you a longer
If you ever have queries about whether folk are qualified for the job they proport to do then ask them, or give us a call and we can give you this information. We would rather that you spent 5 minutes talking to us, than facing a more serious and expensive outcome for you and your horse.