A thorough annual exam and evaluation is the cornerstone of providing quality dental care and ensuring the best opportunity for a lifetime of dental health for your horse.
We believe that every horse should receive a proper dental exam once to twice a year, depending on the individual. This exam should include not only a detailed evaluation of the oral cavity, but should also include an evaluation of the external boney (TMJ, jaws) and muscular structures that are involved in mastication (the act of chewing). To be properly performed, the veterinarian must have a good light source and the ability to adequately visualize the entire oral cavity. This may require sedating the patient and the use of a full-mouth speculum. Without a comprehensive examination, a proper treatment plan cannot be formulated.
Occasionally, Dr. Greene will perform a cursory exam with the tongue retracted in un-sedated horses. Although he’s unable to visualize all aspects of all the teeth, if issues are identified that need to be addressed, the horse will then be sedated in preparation for treatment, and a thorough exam will be completed.
Too often, we see patients that had been “examined” recently by use of a finger slipped into the corner of their mouth or a “quick peek”, and determined to be fine. Unfortunately, the majority of abnormalities that are routinely addressed at the annual dental visit lie deep within the oral cavity, and such an exam is of little if any value. Many of these horses are soon found to be dealing with significant issues that were missed by an inadequate examination.
We appreciate the opportunity to work with other veterinarians and horse owners to provide consultations and second opinions.