There are many reasons horses need regular dental care. Horse’s teeth erupt through their lives. The maxilla and maxillary teeth (upper jaw and teeth) are 30% wider than the mandible and mandibular teeth (lower jaw and teeth), which creates sharp outside points on the upper teeth and inside edges of lower teeth. Riding horses need dentistry to avoid oral pain from the bit or hackamore pressing their cheeks into sharp edges of the cheek teeth. Because a horse’s diet is mainly roughage, they need teeth that are functional. Roughage digestion occurs primarily by microbial fermentation in the cecum, and particles that are too large pass through before nutrients are extracted. Inadequately chewed roughage increases the risk of intestinal obstruction.
There is an increasing importance placed on good dental care for your horses overall health and longevity. Before the 1990s, most equine dentistry consisted of floating teeth and extracting wolf teeth. Thanks to advancements in standing sedation and anesthesia for horses, equine dental equipment has improved and developed power-operated instruments that do a better job than anyone could perform manually. With this increased power comes increased responsibility, and an inexperienced dental technician with these same tools can do more harm than good. Our dental technician, Fernando Martinez, is certified by the International Academy of Equine Dentistry through the advanced level, and has served as an examiner for the certification process for over a decade. Your horse’s mouth is in good hands. Please call the WCEH office to schedule a visit with our Certified Dental Technician. He sees appointments two Saturdays every month.
Equine Dental Veterinarians
Wolf Creek Equine is proud to have two Equine Dental Veterinians on staff. Dr. Miller and Dr. Posnikoff both specialize in oral exams for horses who may have more intensive dental needs. Call the office at 410-741-1473 to ask about the services they offer and to answer questions about horses’ dental care.