In recent years equine dentistry has seen some big advances in effective treatments and techniques, hand-rasping is an outdated way of doing thorough dental work as the focus is no longer just about removing the sharp edges (although this is still very important) it has become apparent how oral and dental health affects the horse’s overall health and performance.
Horse’s teeth may be different from ours in composition and use, but they have many of the same needs as we do, with problems including crooked teeth, gum disease and dental decay. With human dentistry, the ultimate correction for bad teeth is a set of false teeth, and life goes on. With horses, the ultimate result of bad teeth over time is the inability to eat, followed by starvation and death.
This is why today we practice Modern Equine Dentistry, which follows human dentistry in complete dental and oral evaluation and treatment, focusing primarily on preventative care; we don’t just rasp teeth anymore. With the advances of dental restorations (filings) it is now possible to preserve teeth that would have previously gone on to fracture and required extraction.
The objective of Modern Equine Dentistry is to attain and maintain a comfortable, functional and healthy mouth throughout your horse’s life, preserving as many teeth in the mouth as possible, for as long as possible, and therefore helping them live healthier for longer.
If your horse’s previous dental care has consisted of simply rasping the teeth, it’s very possible that other problems may exist. However, before those conditions can be treated they must be identified.
Preventing unnecessary tooth loss is much less expensive than the eventual cost of extraction and the maintenance of a specialized diet for a horse missing one or more cheek teeth, not to mention much less painful for the horse.