Routine oral examination and dental treatment form the basis of equine dental care. As in human dentistry, equine dental care should be mostly focused on preventive care. Through preventive monitoring, problems in the horse’s mouth can be recognized and treated at an early stage before clinical signs are shown. It is recommended to have your horse’s mouth checked once or twice a year.
Dental care performed by EDVC stands for modern dentistry for the horse. It uses the latest and most advanced instruments, materials and knowledge within this specialization of equine veterinary medicine.
A routine dental check includes a thorough examination of the horse’s mouth, teeth and soft tissues. To do so, a supportive halter, mouth speculum, a bright light source, mirror or oral endoscope (dental camera) and various instruments to examine abnormalities of individual elements and gums are used.
During a routine dental treatment the dental arcades are equilibrated resulting in balance and pressure between incisors, molars and the temporomandibular joints to be as functional and comfortable as possible. Treatments are performed using motorised instruments with which precise work can be accomplished without taking away too much tooth material. Work is constantly visually guided and checked.
During today’s pre-purchase exam of the horse only little attention is given to the oral cavity and teeth. When taking the tongue out of the mouth to watch into the oral cavity with a flashlight, obvious problems are most often diagnosed. Unfortunately, developing dental pathologies or not clearly visible but serious dental problems are easily missed.
Most dental problems appear to be symptomless as horses learn to live with the problems by changing the way they eat and masking any discomfort. Symptomless problems can change into clinical disease within weeks and EDVC realizes that mandibulofacial surgery is difficult and can cause many complications. At the same time, costs for these operations are quite high. Therefore, a thorough oral examination might be beneficial before purchasing a new horse.
When, in addition to the standard pre-purchase exam, an oral examination is wanted, EDVC has the necessary instruments and materials to do so. Using an oral video endoscope (dental camera), one can look into the oral cavity and images of abnormal findings can be made. Subsequently, advice is given with respect to the status of teeth and surrounding structures.
‘Advanced Dentistry’ stands for the more advanced dental work compared to the routine dental examination and treatment. This includes for example the treatment of severe equine dental malocclusions, modern diagnostic imaging, extractions using different techniques and treatment of periodontal disease and infundibular caries.
If you as a horse owner or as a colleague veterinarian or dental technician are interested in information or assistance then EDVC is always available. ‘Advanced Dentistry’ is to some extent offered ambulatory at your horse’s location and if necessary treatments can be planned at different equine clinics in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, with which EDVC works together. Also, treatment in consultation and cooperation with you own veterinary practice is possible.
EDVC offers the following services:
- Examination using oral video endoscopy
- Treatment of severe equine dental malocclusions
- EOTRH, advice and treatment
- Periodontal disease and diastema treatment
- Tooth extractions: oral extractions, surgical extractions using minimally invasive techniques
- Infundibular caries restoration
- Pulpa capping and root canal therapy for incisor/canine fractures
- Sinusitis: trepanation and lavage
In general, treatments are performed on the standing horse using continuous rate infusion of sedatives, nerve blocks and local anesthesia.
If an equine emergency situation occurs on the premises during Theo’s presence, EDVC is equipped to perform first aid and to provide you with the best treatment and advice. Also, after initial treatment your own equine vet can be contacted to discuss the situation so he can continue treatment or, if necessary, to refer the patient to a clinic. Since Theo works as a ‘freelance’ veterinary dentist in Germany a few days per week, and because his work as a dentist covers a large practice area, it is impossible to provide continuous emergency care. In case of an emergency it is best to contact your own equine vet or a veterinary clinic nearby.
The veterinary branch within EDVC focuses mainly on preventive health care for horses. Besides dental care also vaccinations, deworming, feeding and housing play an important role in preventive health care. Next to an oral examination, EDVC offers a clinical checkup during which other problems related to your horse´s health can be looked at and discussed. You horse will be physically examined and blood and manure can be examined in a laboratory. Also advice on management, housing and feeding is covered during this clinical checkup.
If you are interested in treatment or advice on preventive health care of you animal or if you are interested in a clinical checkup next to an oral examination and dental treatment, please inform EDVC when making an appointment. In this way, EDVC can plan extra time and contact your own equine vet to discuss the health status of your horse if necessary. More information about emergency and preventive veterinary care can be found under Veterinary on this website.
Symptoms of dental problems:
- foul breath from the mouth or nose
- deviated head position while eating
- dropping food/quidding
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- uneven pressure on the reins
- going against the bit
- difficulties in bending
- head tossing or tilting
- other riding problems