Teeth floating - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Teeth floating

We have two different vets with two different ways and two different prices. We have two horses that need their teeth done and two might need them done. One vet does the old timey rasp way which is rather cheap $60 a horse including a slight sedative and then you got the other vet that uses the power tools that is $135 per horse with a heavier sedative. I have seen horses teeth done with the power tools but not the old way. I have watched videos online of it but never seen it in person. What are the pro's and con's of each way? I'm not worried about the money. I just want it done the best way. The one vet that does it the old way seems to think she wont need to sedate any of my horses which there at two that will have to be heavily sedated before she can stick anything in there mouth. I know the equine dentist I watched a while back on some of my friends horses didn't do a very good job and everybody was extremely disappointed. She done it with the power tools.

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post #2 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 01:49 PM
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The float is only going to be as good as the person holding the tools. Power tools in the hands of an inexperienced or bad dentist can be more damaging than simple hand tools because they can take off too much tooth too quickly. I would be apprehensive about allowing the one with the power tools to work on my horses. A good way to check their work is at the start (with the speculum on) run your arm into the horse's mouth. Feels the points, waves and other abnormalities in the mouth. When they are done, feel again. Are the surfaces relatively flat and smooth? Can the jaw move side to side (grind) or does it hang up on a tooth?

My vet uses hand tools, sedation and a full mouth speculum. To me that's a minimum to get the job done right. He also limits it to 2 mouths at a time because it's physical work. If the vet can do 4-6, they're not working very hard. I'm wary of any vet who says the horses don't need sedation. If they spend 15 minutes on the mouth, they didn't do any balancing and might of just made things worse than better. Doesn't sound like either one would be on my list to call.

Last edited by Left Hand Percherons; 01-25-2012 at 01:51 PM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 01:58 PM
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Without a speculum there is no way the vet/dentist can effectively see must less correct any issues with the back teeth.

Our doctors use power tools and finish up with a hand rasp.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 02:08 PM
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Whether it be power tools or hand tools, it all depends on the experience and skill of the person using them.

I had Jester's teeth done about 3 months after I got him. Charlie had his teeth done right before I bought him- both horses were done with hand tools.

The barn had an equine dentist come out and when he looked in each of my horse's mouths, he said it looked like they hadn't been done in years. He had me reach back and feel in their mouths- it was awful. Charlie's extreme sensitivity to any rein contact made sense and I couldn't believe Jester behaved as well as he did. The dentist used power tools and sedated the horses, both of them were fine. Within a few days of having the procedure, Charlie was soooo much better with rein contact.

After this, I really prefer the power tools. But I got lucky and had a great dentist to do it. The dentist explained that when a vet uses hand tools, it's easy to miss the sharp points since they are so far back. I would recommend using the power tools, but only if you find a great dentist to do it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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I actually contact a equine dentist today that has come highly recommended in my area. She was and equine vet but is now just doing dentistry. She uses the power tools but she is only wanting to do two horses at a time. She is the only one I have actually talked to for more than five minutes. The vets were short and quick and never really answered answer my questions. I talked to this lady for over half and hour and she asked me so many questions about the horses from there personality to age to color, whatever. She could answer any and all of my questions. So i believe she is going to be my choice.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know that all of our horses need it. I know our older horse does and then one of horses needs his wolf teeth smoothed down. The aren't having any specific problems but I want them checked.

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-26-2012, 12:35 AM
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If the vet with the power float knows his stuff, that's the one to go with. They take less of the dentine off & you can go two years between floats. Your horse will thank you for it in his older years when he has lots of his dentine left.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-26-2012, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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The vet with the power tools is also a highly recommended person for our area. She has a very good reputation. I haven't heard any negative comments from anyone
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-26-2012, 10:38 AM
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I used 2 vets and 1 dentist and they all charged about the same and used the rasp (no power tools).

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-26-2012, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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The only reason one of the vets could give me about the power tools was because she said they don't beat and bang around in the horses mouth as rough. She said with horses that need minor the old way does just fine but horses that need major work done rally benefit from the power tools.

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