Dental care is important for both ongoing high performance and preventative health care of your horse. Horses of all ages benefit from proper dental care.
What We Offer
Here at Roaring Fork Equine Medical Center, we offer routine dental care such as dental examination, dental float, and dental radiographs. For most horses we recommend annual dental examination. This can be done in an ambulatory or hospital setting depending on your horse's needs.
Our board-certified equine surgeons also perform advanced dental procedures including dental extractions and fixation of certain oral related fractures. In certain circumstances, dental disease can also affect the sinuses and require sinus treatment in addition to dental extraction. The advanced dental procedures are performed in hospital under standing sedation and can often be done as outpatient procedures.
We strongly advice horse owners to seek dental care from licensed veterinarians.
Direct vs. Indirect Supervision
In the state of Colorado, it is unlawful for non-veterinary dental care providers (equine dentists, equine occlusal surface specialist) to perform dental procedures on horses without supervision by a licensed veterinarian. As stated by the Colorado State Board of Veterinary Medicine in their Rules and Regulations document:
- Direct supervision by a licensed veterinarian is required for the practice of “teeth floating” or “floating of teeth” with motorized high-speed tools, and sedation must be provided by a licensed veterinarian as part of the procedure.
- Indirect supervision of “teeth floating” or “floating of teeth” using hand tools, may occur under the indirect supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The use of an oral sedative prescribed by a licensed veterinarian to the owner is permitted.
Direct supervision indicates that the veterinarian is on the premises while the procedure is performed, versus indirect supervision in which the licensed veterinarian can direct or authorize treatment while not on the premises. In both circumstances, a veterinarian is playing an important role in your horse's dental care.
These rules are enforced in order to protect your horse. Complications can occur when using sedatives and performing dental floats. Your veterinarian is more qualified to handle these complications and ensure your horse gets the best care.