T.R.E.E.S. Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary
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DENTAL FAQ'SWHY FREQUENT DENTAL EXAMS?A TYPICAL DENTAL APPOINTMENTHOW DO "WILD" HORSES COPE?

Why Elders Should Have Frequent Dental Exams 

 

 

Most of the teeth pictured below were extracted from TREES residents. 

Jubal

age 28

 

 

Sometime before these teeth were extracted, one had apparently experienced a fracture (see very flat surface facing up right tooth in right photo.)  The roots had also decayed almost entirely, leaving both teeth very loose.  TREES policy is to have all loose teeth extracted as soon as possible.  They won't get better, but will likely get worse.

 

Wade

age 25

 

 

As a horse ages, normal wear patterns change.  Teeth often wear more quickly and at sharper angles.  This tooth was so loose, it fell out in the dental technician's fingers during the initial exam.  It has also caused some abrasions that quickly healed once it was extracted.

 

Belle

age 33

 

This small fragment fractured off and was extracted.  The rest of the tooth remains firmly anchored, so was not removed.

Churchill

age 29

(not a TREES resident)

 

 

This tooth appears to have "cavities."  Cavities, as we think of them are uncommon in horses, but can occur when the tooth wears this far down into layers of softer material.  Cavities don't however, seem to cause horses the same amount of pain as they cause humans.  This tooth was removed because it was loose due to root decay.

 

Sonny

age 36

 

 

Before he lost the three teeth on the left, Sonny already had "zero grind." The next year, he lost the three infected teeth on the right. He has no top molars and is now missing seven lower molars.  None of his remaining grinding teeth meet with other teeth.  A true "Toothless Wonder."

 

Val

age 18

 

All that was left of this single tooth were these sharp fragments, buried beneath the surface of the gum.  The degree of discomfort caused Val to stop eating altogether.  Less than 24 hours after they were removed, Val was eating normally.

Phoenix

age 37

 

  

The tooth opposite this tooth was missing.  With no opposing tooth to provide normal "wear," this tooth became much longer than the others, so was shortened with a "nipper"-like tool.  In the photo on the right, the surface facing the camera is the "nipped" surface, while the end farthest from the camera was the grinding surface.

 

Jeb

age 40

 

 

Practically speaking, these teeth have no root left to anchor them in place.  The roots decayed,  leaving very loose teeth with sharp root remnants that caused mouth pain.  Once the teeth were removed, Jeb could again eat in comfort.

 

 

Back to Main Dental Care page

 

NOTE:  Material presented by Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary on equineelders.org or in any other manner is for information purposes only.  It is in no way intended to replace the services or advice of your veterinarian.

HOMEABOUT TREESOUR ELDERSYOU CAN HELPELDER CAREFARM & HERDRESOURCESVOLUNTEERINGFAQ'SDONATECONTACTBLOG
DENTAL FAQ'SWHY FREQUENT DENTAL EXAMS?A TYPICAL DENTAL APPOINTMENTHOW DO "WILD" HORSES COPE?