C.J.Equine Dentistry
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the procedure take?

Normally a dental treatment should take about 40 minutes per horse, however if it's the first time the horse is being seen it could take longer to get the horse accustomed to the procedure and it might have slightly more to treat than ones that are in a regular routine.

How often should my horse have dental check-ups?

Each horse should always be seen at least once a year, however young and geriatric horses or ones that have severe pathology may need to be seen more regularly than this, perhaps every six months. Individual dental routines should be developed for each horse depending on its situation, work load and dental pathologies.

Who should complete the dental check-up?

As a horse owner it is important that you choose the appropriate equine dentist for your horse. To make sure you receive the highest standard of dental care for your horses you should choose a qualified equine dental technician or veterinary surgeon. The only qualifications which are recognised by DEFRA within the UK are The British Association of Equine Dental Technicians (BAEDT), the Worldwide Association of Equine Dentistry and the International Association of Equine Dentistry. BAEDT members have completed the British Equine Veterinary Association/British Veterinary Dental Association equine dental technicians examination.

When should my young horse have its first dental check-up?

Your young horse should be first checked by a vet or equine dentist when it is first born. This is to make sure it does not have any conformational problems which could restrict its suckling. It should then be check every six months in order to make sure all of its deciduous (baby) teeth and permanent teeth are all shedding and coming through correctly. It is also important to make sure that their mouths are comfortable before breaking them in, to prevent any behavioural problems occurring during bitting. Wolf teeth are especially important to consider before bitting a horse, as they are situated in front of the first cheek teeth, in the same area as the bit and can cause riding problems if broken or loose and uncomfortable. They are not present in all horses and are sometimes be lost when the first permanent cheek tooth erupts. However if present they may need to be extracted depending on the individual case and are most easily removed at about 2 years of age.

What will happen after the dental treatment?

If your horse has only required routine dental treatment, aftercare recommendations are minimal. Your horse will be able to be ridden and can eat immediately after treatment.

If your horse has had a lot of work completed it may take them a couple of days to get completely used to their more comfortable mouth, so could need a day or so off at grass in order to become accustomed to the new feeling when eating.

If they have had to be sedated by your veterinary surgeon for extraction of wolf teeth then they will need a slightly different aftercare plan. They will not be able to eat for about 2 hours after the treatment, so that the sedation completely wears off and their digestive system is back to normal. Sedated horses do not chew their food correctly which can lead to colic or choke, so giving them a couple of hours before feeding them prevents any problems from occurring. They will then also need between 10-14 days without a bit in their mouth due to the extraction of the wolf teeth. The bit would irritate the site where the wolf tooth was, which could lead to your horse being in pain from the pressure of the bit and behavioural problems whilst being ridden.