Here are a few photos from a recent equine elder Dentathon. Not everyone was seen that day, but Denathon the Sequel is scheduled for next week. Keep in mind that elder horses need more frequent dental exams than their younger counterparts. Teeth wear more quickly as the hard layer of enamel disappears. Faster wear at increasingly sharper angles may mean more extreme points or hooks. Roots begin to decay, leading to loose teeth or possible infection. Some teeth may crack or fracture. Seniors should be examined every six months rather than once a year.
Below, a speculum is used to hold the mouth open during a "power float," while the head rests on a head stand:
A better view of the head stand:
Some dental practitioners prefer a harness, hung from a rafter or door frame to hold the head in place:
Be sure your dentist disinfects his or her tools between horses. You expect your dentist to do the same between patients, don't you?
Keeping elders comfortable often depends on good dental health. Schedule that six-month appointment soon!