Posted by: forgingahead | February 25, 2010

Horse Dentistry

For those of you who don’t have horses in your life I’m going to share a little something you probably didn’t know.

Horses have dental work done. Just like people they pretty much need to be on a 6-12 month cycle of check-ups.

However, these dentists are looking so much for cavities. Horses teeth grow constantly. And because they eat hay and grass it’s super important that the teeth fit together beautifully and slide easily from side to side. Without catching. And definitely without biting their cheeks. Ouch.

The other difference is that these dentists come to the horses. Our dental team of Ben and Darrin visited yesterday and worked on nearly a dozen horses.

Now Voyager was lucky enough to be on the list!

Step one is to heavily drug the horse so we can insert this lovely medieval looking contraption into his mouth. Something i guarantee he would NOT tolerate otherwise.

This keeps the mouth open and allows the dentist to work on the teeth. Which as you can see from the above diagram are waaaay back in the mouth. Darrin even let me stick my arm in NVs mouth and feel how the teeth were growing. Cool and weird.

Our dentists work with miner lights on their heads and power drills in their hands. The whole thing is super scary from a noise standpoint. But NV was in happy drug land and survived the ordeal quite well.

I had to stick around the barn for a couple extra hours to keep an eye on NV to make sure the medication wore off ok and that he was feeling well enough to eat dinner.

I didn’t have my camera with me but there’s another horse showing off his pearly whites…smile!



  1. This was my favorite blog post for the week! A horse dentist. Gosh, had I known…

    • Glad to provide you with a reason to smile Meg!!

  2. My horse need her teeth done…thanks for reminding me to get it scheduled. It hate the sound of “rasping” those teeth.

    • Imagine the sound of a power sander – that was really impressive!

  3. Horse teeth scare the crap out of me! I’m afraid to let a horse eat out of my hand because of those things!

    • Just keep your hand flat – they have very sensitive lips are most horses are super careful not to bite 🙂

  4. Hi Kathleen; My web antenna found your mention of equine dentistry so I thought I’d drop a line. My equine practice is limited to dentistry – old fashioned and traditional. Our motto is Equine Dentistry Without Drama™ so I thought – if you had a moment – you would visit my site. My mission now after 43,000 floats by hand, is to say to the world that over drugging and power floating may not be the best way to float teeth. In fact, there is no scientific basis to confirm it is better or safer. Anyway, I do a lot of dressage horses including Jane Savoie’s. Listen to her interview of me here: – Thanks, Geoff

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