Annual dental examinations are a key part to maintaining your horse’s overall health.  The ability to chew food efficiently and pain free is vital to all horse’s quality of life, regardless of their discipline and performance level.  At Northern Lakes Equine Practice we strongly believe that dental examinations should be performed by a well trained veterinarian.  All of our doctors have attended advanced training in equine dentistry.  The philosophy of dentistry at Northern Lakes Equine Practice is that it should be stress free, pain free, and thorough.

What is included in a dental examination and occlusal adjustment?

  • Sedated full mouth examination utilizing dental mirror and pick
    • Diagnosis of patient’s oral health
    • Wave Mouth
    • Ramping
    • Hooks
    • Excessive enamel points
    • Ulcerations
    • Periodontal disease
    • Dental caries (similar to cavities)
    • Malocclusion
    • Tumors
    • Fractured teeth
  • Treatment plan
    • Correction of oral pathology with a focus on maintaining each individual patient’s occlusal surface
    • Removal of enamel points causing trauma to oral soft tissues
    • Discussion with owner on what was found in their patient’s mouth, what that means, and what should be done in the future to maintain optimal oral health

Why does the examination have to be sedated?

  • Horses have 12 cheek teeth total that extend back to underneath their eye, without sedation it is impossible to accurately asses the health of the teeth in the back of the mouth
  • Placing a finger in the mouth and feeling for points only evaluates one or two of the teeth at the front of the mouth, it is not comprehensive enough to evaluate the entire mouth

Advanced Procedures

  • Dental Radiography
    • Our doctors have the ability to take dental radiographs (x-rays) in the field to better evaluate tooth roots, sinuses, and maxilla/mandible
  • Dental Endoscopy
    • A small camera is guided through the mouth to create a video of the inside of the mouth