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Why Equine Dentistry?

I am often met by these two remarks; 'Horses in the wild don't need their teeth doing' and 'Equine Dentistry was never around in our day!'

'Horses in the wild don't need their teeth doing'- This is most likely true and that is because of two main factors, Amount and Type of grazing. Horses and ponies in the 'wild' such as those that roam Dartmoor are grazing for 16+ hours a day and very course forage. Horses teeth were designed to withstand constant attrition and be able to breakdown the tough and fibrous forage, because of its low nutrient content they are required to eat lots of it. So with that considered it would make perfect sense that our domesticated horse is not getting the opportunity to naturally grind down their own teeth. Restricted grazing, lush pasture and the substitute of hard feed for hay all play contributing factors to the development of sharp teeth.

Consider these figures

  • 1Kg of Concentrates requires 800 jaw movements

  • 1Kg of long hay requires 3000 jaw movements

'Equine Dentistry was never around in our day!'- On the contrary first records of treatment and evaluation of horse's teeth were found in China around 600BC, the Greeks and Romans developed techniques in aging horses by their teeth to
determine value and as the photo shows oral health was considered to have some importance during their role in WW1.

The organisation for qualified professional Equine Dental Technicians, The British Association of Equine Dental Technicians (BAEDT) was founded over a decade ago in 2001.

It has since been trying to raise public awareness to create a better understanding.

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