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Why don't you use power tools?

While I realise that this may look impressive to some people to have power tools, lights, and other noisy gadgets, I am not running a sideshow or Hollywood showcase. Horse dentistry is better done in a relaxed quiet environment, with time taken to do everything that is required for the wellbeing of the horse.Consider this analogy:

You own a 16th century dining table that you wish to have restored back to its original beauty. You seek an expert to exact this task and find two options:

1. A keen young carpenter who has just begun his new business in a nice new shop. He has all the planes and sanders and is happy to sand down and plane your table back to bare wood ready for a new coat of wood stain. And, it can be ready by Friday!
2. An old master craftsman with 40 years of experience, who will lovingly restore your precious table back to its original beauty without gouging holes in the surface or defacing it in any way, a craftsman who will treat it with the respect and honour deserving of such a beautiful object.

The horse is a living entity with teeth alive with nerves that play a very important part in the longevity of the horse.
Just as I would not put a machine on the surface of that table, I also would not disrespect the horse by grinding years off of its life by using a machine on this living spirit.

Many a horse’s teeth have been permanently ruined by using a machine for example;

  • heating the pulp causing Pulpitis (death of the pulp nerves), causing apical ulcers (Dr Gordon Baker).
  • fracturing and splitting molars.
  • over-floating, causing lack of molar contact which could lead to colic.

All these actions can shorten the overall life of the horse by up to ten years. It can also lead to changes of the internal morphology, causing other musco-skeletal physiological changes in the body balance.
These problems are therefore mostly iatrogenic caused by poorly trained operators with little or no understanding of equine anatomy or equine dental physiology.


What is Hypercementosis?

First, a simple explanation of the morphology of the equine tooth:
The tooth is made up of three main substances, each having a different level of strength. Enamel is the hardest. It can be seen as the white weaving pattern on the surface of the molar. Dentine is not quite as hard and seen as the brow-like part of a molar. The softest part of the tooth is the cementum (cement), this is the cream-coloured substance that surrounds the outside of the molar giving the tooth a softer, smoother surface to make contact with the soft tissues (cheeks and tongue). Cementum also supports the enamel folds by filling the teeth and creating a tight contact between them.

One can liken this system to that of the make-up of a concrete slab. The enamel, being the hardest part, is the steel grid. Dentine is the small stones and sand. Cententum then binds them all together creating a smooth surface to the finished slab.

HYPERCEMENTOSIS is nature’s way of repairing trauma and damage inflicted upon the horse’s teeth. This process takes place in the form of “cementoblasts” which is the laying down of new cementum on the fractured areas of the teeth. This cementoblast process is similar to osteoblasts, which takes place when bone is broken and needs to mend itself.

The most common cause of the rising incidence of Hypercementosis is the iatrogenic use of power tools by poorly trained individuals possessing little or no understanding of the correlation between external and internal morphology in adolescent and adult equine teeth.


Should all horses be sedated for dental maintenance?

NO! Stress free handling should be an absolute requisite of a professional horse dentist.
Some proceedures may require sedation, but most routine work performed by a professional will definitely not require sedation.

Where can I find a professional horse dentist in my area?

Check links in this site. If not suitable, email us and we will try to find someone for you.

Why does my horse always bleed from the mouth when having his teeth filed?

There is very little blood in teeth, only in the pulp. If your horse is bleeding it is from soft tissue, not the tooth! You may have made a very poor choice in your selection of a tooth practitioner!

Should I have dentistry performed on my horse prior to a competition?

Horses should perform better after treatment - NOT worse! Be sure to chose a professional certified equine dentist, preferably one who also has horses and horsemanship skills.




Hippus GmbH - Lättenstrasse 57, CH - 5332 Rekingen AG - Tel. +41 56 249 44 04



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