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Just a quick rasp?

A human dentist provides for its patients: mouthwash and a chair with an overhead light, which allows for a thorough exam whilst keeping the patient comfortable. The dentist examines the mouth, examining every tooth in detail and describes any concerns to a nurse who records them. Any treatment plans are then discussed ..... 

The equine dental examination provided by Melissa is the same. The whole oral cavity including the soft tissue and every surface of every tooth is examined and recorded on a digital dental chart by Melissa's assistant Amy. For patient compliance, comfort and safety, a little sedation is used and a padded headstand is subtituted for a dental chair. 

This is an efficient and thorough examination but definitly not a quick rasp!


The aim of the examination.

The aim of the examination.

Primarily, the aim of the examination is to identify if the horse is comfortable in the mouth and if not, address those issues immediately.

Horses are programmed to disguise dental pain, only occasionally showing symptoms when they cannot find an area of the mouth to eat comfortably. Symptoms include drooling of saliva, balling of hay (quidding), slow eating, dunking hay in water, head tilting or resistance/no contact on the bit but more commonly there are no symptoms at all.

Since we cannot rely on the horse to inform us of dental pain, it is vital that a regular, thorough dental examination is performed for the early detection and treatment of any significant findings.