Who can rasp my horse’s teeth?

In line with the current Regulations on Equine Dental Procedures, owners should use an Equine Veterinary Surgeon (MRCVS) or a suitably qualified Equine Dental Technician (EDT) to examine, assess and perform routine dentistry on their horse.

Suitably qualified EDT’s are those who are either members of the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians (BAEDT) for which a full training course and entry examinations are required, or the Worldwide Association of Equine Dentistry (WWAED) for which an assessment of practical work is required alongside an entrance examination.

Suitably qualified EDT’s are only allowed to perform “Category 1” and “Category 2” Procedures (see below). All other dental procedures are “Category 3” which are Acts of Veterinary Surgery, and are restricted to Qualified Veterinary Surgeons ONLY and are ILLEGAL for anyone else to perform.

What can UNQUALIFIED EDT’s do?

  • Category 1 Procedures:
    • Examine mouths
    • Remove plaque
    • Remove loose caps (baby teeth)
    • Rasp teeth with MANUAL RASPS


  • Category 1 Procedures (as above)
  • Category 2 Procedures:
    • Examine, evaluate and record dental abnormalities
    • Remove loose teeth (incisors/cheek teeth) with negligible periodontal attachments
    • Rasp teeth with POWERTOOLS. Horses should be SEDATED unless it is deemed safe to undertake any proposed procedure without sedation, with FULL INFORMED CONSENT OF THE OWNER
    • Extract erupted, non-displaced wolf teeth only under DIRECT AND CONTINUOUS veterinary supervision. It is NOT LEGAL for an EDT to take wolf teeth out un-supervised

What can Veterinary Surgeons do?

  • Category 1 & 2 Procedures (as above)
  • Category 3 Procedures
    • Any dental procedures that are within their own area of competence, including, but not limited to:
      • Diastema treatment
      • Wolf teeth removal including un-erupted (blind) wolf teeth
      • Extraction of incisors, canines and cheek teeth
      • Restorations

If your horse has any dental disease or pathology beyond those Category 1 and 2 exceptions listed above, it can ONLY be diagnosed and treated by a Veterinary Surgeon.

Should a non-veterinarian carry out a ‘Category 3’ Procedure (which is NOT LEGAL), then the EDT and owner of the horse are ALL liable for potential prosecution or disciplinary action, should unforeseen complications occur.

It is also imperative to note that it is ILLEGAL for anyone other than a Veterinary Surgeon to dispense, supply or stock PRESCRIPTION ONLY DRUGS (this includes Sedalin™ gel, Domosedan Gel™ or Bute). If a non-veterinary surgeon is caught with these drugs in their possession then they are liable to prosecution.

These laws are designed to protect animals against mutilation by inappropriately qualified individuals and to regulate the behaviour of Veterinary Surgeons in order to maintain ethical and professional standards.

If you use a qualified BAEDT or WWAED member to perform routine dentistry on your horse and they discover any dental disease or pathology, they should be happy to refer you to a Veterinary Surgeon so that further diagnostic tests and dental treatment can be performed.

Both the BAEDT and WWAED encourage their members to keep their knowledge and training up to date; those that don’t will often be removed from membership. As a result, there may be some dental technicians who have passed the above examinations but do not appear on the list.

At DentaVet we are very happy to work alongside any qualified EDT’s in an ethical and professional manner to provide the very best care for your horse.

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