A good, thorough dental exam should be done at least once a year for most adult horses. In some horses, we recommend dental work to be done every six months.
Horses need routine dental care, not only to remove sharp points that occur normally in their mouths, but to look for and assess any potential abnormalities that could be causing them discomfort or more serious problems.
It used to be believed that routine dentistry or a routine "float" was needed simply to remove the sharp points that horses normally make. We strongly believe that this is not the complete picture when it comes to your horse's oral health. Removal of sharp points is only one component to good preventative dental care.
One of the most important parts of good dental care is a thorough oral exam. The basis of our dental care program is a five-component oral exam that will help us recognize and evaluate any oral problems your horse may have, including cavities (decay to teeth), fractured teeth, periodontal (gum) disease, oral soft tissue injuries, or a tooth root abcess or infection.
The five components to this exam involve evaluating the external face, oral soft tissues, occlusion, periodontal status, and endodontic status of the teeth. Once this exam has been performed, we can properly proceed with the occlusal adjustment (float or removal of sharp points) which will bring your horse's mouth into proper balance and optimize its chewing function.
If we diagnose any further problems on the oral exam, we may recommend further diagnostics if necessary, and discuss appropriate treatment options to help restore good oral health.