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Dental Care


Personally, I find it pretty amazing that we are fortunate enough to be able to look back at the evolution of the modern horse (Equus Caballus) thanks to the existence of a fossil record. But... Why do we need to know? A better understanding highlights that equines have a very unique dental arrangement that benefits from early planned and scheduled examinations to be carried out by a suitably trained dental veterinarian. 


Proficiency in equine dentistry is becoming a standard requirement in practice, and there has been significant progression in knowledge and techniques in recent years. To support the continuing advancements in this field, the Equine Veterinary Journal has released a research collection of dentistry articles. Co-edited by Paddy Dixon and Vicki Nicholls the collection is free to all readers and coincides with the appointment of Vicki Nicholls as President of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA).


As a vet with experience when it comes to looking inside horses’ mouths, little would surprise me as to what I might find in there. It seems, however, I can’t state and repeat enough that horses, being by their very nature an animal that is both curious and cautious, are often prone to both oral injury and the ingestion of unusual or foreign objects. And, all the while, in many cases, they show no outward sign of there being any problem.


This month, Dr Shannon Lee, a member of Equine Dental Vets, talks about the important role of dental x-rays. He outlines why x-rays are commonly used in veterinary denistry, so that horse owners can better understand the process, technology and benefits for their own horses undergoing treatment. 


According to Dr Shannon Lee of Advanced Equine Dentistry,  ‘pulling a tooth’ is a term that needs to change. If you’ve been around horses, chances are you will at some point hear someone say “my horse had to have a tooth pulled out” or some similar comment.  To understand why (other than baby or diseased) teeth cannot be ‘pulled’, you need to understand the very unique characteristics of horse teeth, which Dr Shannon Lee explains in this article. 


When should my horse have his first dental exam?  It’s a common enough question in the horse industry and, while many people will actually offer an opinion, they may not have taken the time to become well informed.  In this article, Equine Dental Vet Dr Shannon Lee answers this question and explains why, when it comes to dental care, you need to monitor, care for and manage your young horses from a very early age. 


If you want a topic to spark a conversation, generate some controversy or perhaps motivate someone to produce the collection of bits they’ve bought and tried over the years, then this is certainly it...  Whilst I make no claims to be an expert on the subject, as a specialist equine dental veterinarian, I know horses’ mouths well and, over the years, I have identified some simple and common mistakes and problems that affect many horses and riders. 


As well as being quite a mouthful, Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis (better known as EOTRH) is a form of periodontal disease causing the destruction of dental tissues that lead to weakness, tooth fracture, pain and infection.  Back in 2007, Dr Shannon Lee from Advanced Equine Dentistry diagnosed the first cases in Australia. Here, he explains about what is a common, yet poorly understood, progressive disease that, at present, has no cure and requires expert treatment and management from your Equine Dental Vet.


Why is it important to learn about the internal workings of the horse’s head? How does equine anatomy differ from human?  Dr Shannon Lee from Advanced Equine Dentistry explains that a lack of understanding of equine anatomy amongst horse owners can have serious welfare consequences.


Why is it important to learn about the internal workings of the horse’s head? How do equine teeth differ from human teeth?  Dr Shannon Lee from Advanced Equine Dentistry explains that a lack of understanding amongst horse owners can have serious welfare consequences. Introduction  Anatomy is the branch of scientific study concerned with the function or internal workings of bodily structures, particularly as revealed by dissection. 


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