Oral and dental examination can provide important information in regard to the overall well-being of your horse. A detailed oral examination can identify conditions such as:
- sharp dental points of the cheek teeth
- erosions of the cheeks and tongue
- damaged teeth
- dental decay
- endodontic problems
- periodontal disease
Dr. Niel Moelich is experienced at diagnosing and treating conditions of the teeth and surrounding structures. An oral examination is usually performed after administration of a sedative drug (for patient safety and analgesia) and is facilitated by using a dental speculum, bright light source, and oral mirror. Digital dental radiography is commonly performed in conjunction with oral examination in order to arrive at a more accurate diagnosis.
The oral examination as well as routine floating of sharp dental points (odontoplasty), removal of ‘wolf teeth’, and reduction of overlong teeth can be performed in the hospital or in an ambulatory setting. When extraction of a cheek tooth becomes necessary it is ideally performed as a standing procedure with the patient receiving adequate sedation and analgesia; however, in some instances it may be necessary to remove the affected tooth surgically with the horse under general anaesthesia.