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Hawkedon Surgery 01284 789 428
Homefield Road Surgery 01440 712 021

Equine Dentistry

High-quality dental services, from simple exams to advanced surgery

Richard is a qualified equine dental technician as well as an equine vet and a member of the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians. He provides a high-quality dental service from simple examinations and routine rasping to advanced dentistry, endodontics and surgery.

Dental visits for five or more horses do not incur a mileage fee unless they are at a distance. Please telephone or contact the practice and our reception staff will be happy to provide a quote for visiting your yard.

Richard promotes regular dental care to keep your horse comfortable and help prevent problems. A comfortable mouth can only help your horse in its ridden work and help its balance.

Procedures Performed on Routine Visits

  • Routine examinations and rasp
  • Wolf tooth extractions
  • Minor correction and balancing

Procedures performed at the clinic, and at other veterinary clinics

  • Corrections of more serious malocclusions
  • Advanced treatments of gum disease and tooth disease
  • Fillings and root canals
  • Extractions
  • X-rays
  • Surgery
  • Routine Visits
  • The Routine Dental Procedure
  • Advanced Procedures
  • Referral Service

Routine Visits

Your horse deserves meticulous routine dental care to keep its mouth healthy and comfortable throughout its life.

Richard offers routine visits to each horse once or twice a year, depending on your horse's requirements and reminders are sent by post and SMS when the next check-up is due. Yard visits are scheduled so several horses can be seen on one visit. Visits are also arranged by area and clients can be grouped to try and keep the cost down for individuals or small yards.

Richard promotes good regular dentistry. With regular examinations he can attain and maintain a balanced, comfortable and functional mouth for the whole of your horse’s life He will identify and pick up problems and deal with them early on. This often prevents the necessity for extensive dental work and prevents painful and uncomfortable problems from developing.

Richard will require a clean, empty stable, and access to an electric supply and clean water. Routine dentistry requires a lot of equipment and enough time for every horse.

Where many horses are being seen Richard prefers to work in one clean stable.

These procedures are performed on routine visits:

  • Examinations
  • Rasping or floating of sharp edges of the cheek teeth
  • Corrections of all but the most severe malocclusions
  • Wolf tooth extractions
  • Deciduous tooth (cap) removal
  • Bit assessment and fitting
  • Treatment of bit sores

There is no additional mileage charge for five or more horses.

If you have fewer horses requiring dentistry, then please tell our reception staff who will be more than happy to try and pool visits in an area to avoid high mileage fees.

Routine visits can be booked with the reception staff between 8:30am and 6:00pm weekdays on 01284 789428 or via email at reception@hawkeonvets.com.

The Routine Dental Procedure

Richard will ask questions about your horse's age, diet, riding discipline, equitation problems, biting behaviour and how your horse is eating. He will also ask about your horse’s character and previous dental history.

He will then perform a detailed examination. This starts with examination of the head, jaw, cheek lips and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) – the ‘jaw joint’. He will check the commissures lips, the sinuses and then the incisors at the front of the mouth. Teeth further back, the tongue and ‘bars’ are then examined using a gag (which keeps the mouth open), surgical headlight, cheek retractors, mirrors and instruments.

Some horses may require sedation for examination or treatment. It can make the experience far less stressful for these horses (and owners!) and facilitates thorough examination and treatment. As a vet, Richard can administer this at the time.

Richard will discuss the dental work required and will formulate a dental plan specific to your horse's own requirements. Advice on bitting in relation to your own horse's mouth and equitation discipline can be given.

Richard will then perform routine dental maintenance – rasping of sharp edges, wolf tooth removal, loose cap removal and minor corrections.

More serious problems may require another appointment or may need to come in to the Equine Clinic where more extensive facilities and equipment are available.

Advanced Procedures

Advanced procedures are dental procedures usually requiring sedation and specialized tools and knowledge.

Unfortunately, it is quite common to find quite advanced dental disease in horses that seemingly have no problems eating or being ridden or driven. This tells us that either horses are very stoical, or that we are not very good at reading the signs that something is wrong in their mouths.

Many advanced corrections can be performed at your premises, but more complex procedures will require the horse to be seen at the clinic in Hawkedon.

Painful interventions such as extractions or treatments of periodontal disease are performed with the administration of local anaesthetic to numb the pain. Painless treatments reduce the sedation dose required when treating dental disease and are far kinder to your horse.

Advanced Procedures include:

  • Extractions
  • Corrections of overgrowths
  • Treatment of periodontal disease
  • Fillings
  • Endodontics (e.g. Root canal treatments)

Referral Service

Referrals are accepted from vets and EDTs for routine, advanced and surgical dental cases and for sinus surgery. The majority of surgical cases, even difficult extractions and endodontics are performed standing under sedation with local anaesthetic techniques.

Cases can be seen at the clinic at Hawkedon or one or more cases can be seen at your clinic or the horse owner’s premises.

Our equipment is consistent with the level of work performed: digital radiography, air driven high speed drills for accuracy and safety in periodontal and endodontal treatments; endoscopic examinations; varied power tools for correction of malocclusions; mirrors probes; retractors; scalers; multiple elevators and extraction forceps.

Examples of work undertaken includes extractions, fillings, root canal procedures, power tool corrections of malocclusions, diastema treatments, and sinus surgery.

The majority of endodontic and diastema treatments are performed with the high-speed air drill which reduces the risk of iatrogenic damage as compared with some of the motor driven instruments which create far too much heat.

If cases are seen at your own practice, then aftercare notes are provided and follow up can be left.

More routine work can be carried out for those veterinary practices preferring not to perform much dentistry.

Please contact 01284 789428 for more information.

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