Thinking about training to be a dentist.

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Thinking about training to be a dentist.

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  • Equine dentistry power tools
  • Alex foster equine dentist

View Poll Results: Equine dentist do you prefer
Old school hand tools? 9 81.82%
Power tools? 2 18.18%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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    06-10-2011, 12:08 AM
Thinking about training to be a dentist.

My equine dentist came out today, Lucas was a hero and was done in a field with no sedation. I think this is in large part due to my equine dentist and how he is in his general demeanor.

I don't care for power tools, and would prefer the old school way of doing it by hand.

Maybe I am crazy, but I am thinking about asking him if I can go out with him on days when I have nothing going on with the kids once they start up school again. I can't ask for an apprenticeship as I have too many commitments at short notice with the kids, but maybe I can just tag along and learn.

For the past two visits, my equine dentist has been threatening to retire, if he does, my only option then would be a vet with power tools. I don't want power tools in my horses mouth, and I don't want a vet, I want someone who is more specialist.

My dentist tells me he won't take on an apprentice as he will not set them up into a career that is dying. I am not American, so I realize my ideas are probably not the norm. Are there others out there that want old school hand tools? Over sedation and power tools?
Is it worth it to tag along with him and learn? Over the benefit of doing my own or friends horses, could I make a living doing this?
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    06-10-2011, 12:26 AM
Alex, I think it is a wonderful idea. I can appreciate both power and hand tools and know that they both serve their purpose. I also think that with the hand tools, sedation is much less necessary. If you only had a few clients a week, I am sure it would be worth it. Making money doing something that interests you and that you love is a great thing.

PS, I think there is a Equine Dentistry school up your way...let me get to googling for you.
    06-10-2011, 12:27 AM
Just to add for clarification for those who do not know me as well. I am a foster parent of 'bad teenage boys' I get several calls a day usually, that's why I can't commit to a full time training with him.

And I don't know if he would be willing to train anyone, I thought I would start by asking about the desire for it first.

ETA - thanks Cori!
    06-10-2011, 12:34 AM
Based on that Cori, my dentist only charged me $60, I expected to pay about $100 as I did not recall the amount from last year - so what would people be willing to pay, what is the norm?

What is the benefit of power tools? They are a new concept to me so I have no idea why anyone would use them?
    06-10-2011, 12:38 AM
Saw the title and thought it was in the off-topic category.

My first tip was to use plenty of breath mints, dentists with bad breath creep me out.

Anyways, I think it would be neat to tag along if you get the chance. My vet mainly uses power tools so I have no experience with the old fashion way.
    06-10-2011, 12:48 AM
Snort, I am English and the stereotype is that I have bad teeth, which I do.

That is my fear, that American's don't really seek out the none power tool option as it is not the common thing. So can I make enough of a living from it?

In part I have the desire that I don't want power tools in my horses mouth, I don't want him sedated if he does not have to be. I am not some crazy love my horse, cuddle them type, but I worry that someone might sneeze and take out the side of my horses face.

I also wonder, while I am fairly strong, am I strong enough, I am skinny as a bean, can I do this?
    06-10-2011, 12:53 AM
My old gelding had to be done with power tools because before coming to me, he had never had his teeth maintained and they were in really bad shape. My vet said it could take over an hour with tradition floats and she didn't want to take the chance of him waking up.

I don't think it takes that much strength to do it. Once you get started, it looks like it is just hard filing. Think of how ripped your arms are going to look!

Around here the going price for a traditional floating is $80 and that includes the farm call. I can imagine that the tools are expensive but with just a few clients, you should be able to make that back. Or if your dentist truly is retiring, you could offer to take over his business for him.
    06-10-2011, 01:01 AM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by AlexS    

What is the benefit of power tools? They are a new concept to me so I have no idea why anyone would use them?
According to my vet (who uses power tools), the benefit of power tools is that it's easier on the vet because less manpower is needed to get a really good float done.

I love your idea!
I'd love it if there was a vet in my area who used hand tools. With Lacey getting up in age I'm not super keen on having her sedated for trivial things like tooth floating. She was fine with the sedation this time (actually, she had to be sedated twice on two different days because the first time she didn't get knocked out nearly enough and she was being really dangerous) but as she ages, it's a worry to me.
I chose my vet to do her teeth after calling around (looking for someone who uses hand tools) because my vet only took off what was absolutely necessary and she tried to leave Lacey with as much tooth as possible, even though she was using power tools. She called it a "conservative float" so she just took out the major edges and hooks Lacey had and didn't completely level out the wave pattern Lacey has going on with her teeth like another vet would have (which would have caused the loss of a few teeth).

But anyway, I think if you have the brawn to do a float with hand tools (my vet made it sound like it took quite a bit of oomph to do a really good float using hand tools) and you want to get into that, go for it! I'm sure people would be appreciative, especially once your dentist retires.
    06-10-2011, 01:30 AM
Thank you for your input Wallaby. This is in part what I fear, when he retires I don't want to have to sedate my horse for power tools when he would just stand there for hand tools.

I am sure it takes strength to do it, but I am 120lbs, but I have arm muscles that have always been bigger than my teenage foster kids. I am not a power house clearly, but I can haul hay a god while, normally longer than the kids can.

As you are used to power tools, would you be willing to try the old school methods without that being a new popular thing?

I don't mean to bash on barefoot trimming, but it is a new popular thing - would hand tools need that much of a push? Please anyone answer this question? Thanks
    06-10-2011, 01:33 AM
Green Broke
I had no idea that power tools are used. The two vets I have used both used hand tools.

My vet sedated my gelding, he needed his sheath cleaned and there was no way that was getting done without sedation, so he just sedated him for both. He did all but one other horse (who was also getting his sheath cleaned) in the barn without sedation though.

I paid $85, not sure if that included the sedation or if I was billed separately for that, my bill was pretty long and I just glanced through it before paying.

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