Equine Dentistry

rinsing mouthWith our advanced power-assisted dental equipment, we can improve and correct almost any dental problem. All equine dentistry provided by TNT Equine is performed by licensed veterinarians to ensure both the safety and health of the patients entrusted to us. Our new facility also allows us to handle surgical dental needs in house, improving both patient care and recovery times. In addition, we provide routine dentistry appointments in house for clients that are outside of our ambulatory service area.

dental xrayCommon dental problems include:
  • Sharp points
  • Retained caps
  • Hooks
  • Lost or broken teeth
  • Abnormal or uneven bite planes
  • Infected teeth or gums
  • Excessively worn teeth
  • Periodontal disease

Tooth Restoration
filing teethAdvances in equine dentistry and increased awareness in the critical role your horses’ mouth plays in his overall health has fueled TNT Equine to acquire some of the most state of the art equipment. At our facility we can perform several phases of tooth restoration that may save your horses tooth, eliminating the need for an extraction. Fillings are used to repair minimal tooth fractures, tooth decay or otherwise damaged surfaces of the teeth. In addition we can open diastemas to prevent food material from causing damage and our intra-oral camera allows us to inspect each tooth area individually to catch problems at their onset.

Occasionally a horse is presented to TNT Equine with advanced tooth decay, fractures which may be very painful or a secondary sinusitis. Many of our extractions are performed while the horse is standing which reduces both recovery time and cost.

Learn to Recognize your Horse’s Dental Problems

equine dentist floating teethHorses with dental problems may show obvious signs, such as pain or irritation, or they may show no noticeable signs at all. This is because some horses simply adapt to their discomfort. For this reason, periodic dental examinations are essential to your horse’s health.

It is important to catch dental problems early. If a horse starts behaving abnormally, dental problems should be considered as a potential cause. Waiting too long may increase the difficulty of remedying certain conditions or may even make remedy impossible. Look for the following indicators of dental problems from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to know when to seek veterinary attention for your horse:

  1. Loss of feed from mouth while eating, difficulty with chewing, or excessive salivation.
  2. Loss of body condition.
  3. Large or undigested feed particles (long stems or whole grain) in manure.
  4. Head tilting or tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, fighting the bit, or resisting bridling.
  5. Poor performance, such as lugging on the bridle, failing to turn or stop, even bucking.
  6. Foul odor from mouth or nostrils, or traces of blood from the mouth.
  7. Nasal discharge or swelling of the face, jaw or mouth tissues.

Oral exams should be an essential part of an annual physical examination by a veterinarian. Every dental exam provides the opportunity to perform routine preventative dental maintenance. Mature horses should get a thorough dental exam at least once a year, and horses 2 –5 years old should be examined twice yearly.

For more information about proper dental care, ask your equine veterinarian for “Dental Care: The Importance of Maintaining the Health of Your Horse’s Mouth,” a brochure provided by the AAEP in conjunction with Educational Partner Bayer Animal Health. Additional information is available on the AAEP’s horse health Web site, www.myHorseMatters.com.
Reprinted with permission from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

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