Foundation Equine

183 B Bordentown Crosswicks Rd
Crosswicks, NJ 08515

(609)291-0535

www.foundationequinenj.com

DENTISTRY

The horse was designed with a slightly wider upper jaw than lower jaw and wide flat teeth for chewing vegetation.  They also chew in a circular pattern, not up and down as most people assume.  Because of this, they develop sharp points on the edges of their teeth that can rub on the cheeks and tongue, creating ulcers.  These points need to be smoothed (floated) regularly to make the horse comfortable when eating and being ridden.  Dental issues are a leading causes of weight loss and poor nutrition, as well as performance problems.  A horse's teeth continue to erupt for most of its life and recognizing and correcting problems early will allow them to function and last well into his twenties.  It is not uncommon for horses to outlive some of their teeth and routine dentistry in older ponies and horses focuses on preserving good function.

An oral exam and floating is necessary about once a year.  Older horses and horses with bad conformation or other problems may need attention more frequently.  Dentistry exams usually start at about 2 years of age.  The wolf teeth are present at this time and should be removed before bit work commences.  Caps, or the remnants of the baby teeth, are being shed at this time and it is a good opportunity to check on their progress and verify a correct eruption pattern.

Floating is done either with hand tools, electric tools, or a combination of both.  At FE, we believe that using powered instruments allows for a much better and faster job.  Light sedation is required on all horses to allow the mouth to be fully opened and visualized.  Dentistry can be done at the same time as other preventative medicine procedures such as vaccinations and sheath cleaning.