Recently a friend sent me an email to tell me about his horse who had some dental work done. This made him think of me. He sent an attached photo of the horse being treated. He explained that his horse has a malocclusion in which his incisors strike the roof of his mouth. The dentist is a veterinarian who specializes in horse’s teeth. She came to the barn to examine all the horses, and that is when she found the problem.
The equine dentist explained how the horse’s bite problem interfered with how he holds the bit in his mouth. She then described how this may cause specific problems when the horse is ridden. My friend was amazed as his horse always has exactly those problems. She said that the horse should improve after his bite is corrected, but he would have been a better horse if the problem were corrected when he was young.
The horse has had two treatment. Only a certain amount of the tooth can be removed at a time without risking infection to the pulp. The next treatment is in six months. My friend was surprised to see that the equine dentist was using a standard battery powered drill with a long right angle shaft to grind the horse’s teeth. The horse was sedated.
The moral of the story is that everyone should have regular dental care, even horses.