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Safe & Effective Equine Dental Care

Annual comprehensive dental care is an essential part of your horse’s overall health and well-being. At Columbia Equine Hospital, we provide complete dental services to our clients, including:Equine Dental Care From The Staff of Columbia Equine Hospital

  • Comprehensive dental evaluation—We will complete a comprehensive examination of your horse’s mouth so that we have a detailed record of any abnormalities that require follow up on subsequent visits. You will also be provided with a copy of this record to keep in your home medical files.
  • Dental X-rays—We are able to do on-site X-rays of your horse so that we can see right away if he or she has any infected or diseased teeth, sinus diseases, tumors, or wolf tooth fragments.
  • Extraction—Loose or diseased teeth need to be removed for your horse’s comfort and health.
  • Corrective floating—Dental correction is necessary for your horse’s comfort and performance. Tooth wear is dependent on many factors, including age and breed of the horse, dental conformation, loose or missing teeth, diet (hay vs. pasture and pellet vs. whole grains), and abnormal chewing due to trauma, abscesses/tumors, or arthritis of the TMJ.
  • Geriatric dentistry—For older horses, it is particularly important to maintain dental health, as dental diseases can lead to poor body condition.

We believe equine dentistry is essential to maintaining your horse’s overall health and longevity. If left untreated, diseases of the mouth can lead to more serious illnesses as well as significant discomfort for your horse. Simple routine care can go a long way toward reducing the amount of tooth loss, diagnosing medical conditions like choke and colic, and ultimately prolonging your horse’s lifespan.

We encourage you to watch for these signs of possible dental disease:

  • Abnormal chewing action
  • Quidding or dropping feed
  • Weight loss
  • Bridling problems or head shy
  • Bit evasion and resistance
  • Unbalanced or one-sided when ridden
  • Facial swellings
  • Odorous breath
  • Unilateral nasal discharge
  • Undigested oats or corn in manure
  • Impaction colic

Your horse’s first dental exam and float should be performed by two years of age. Soft baby teeth develop sharp points that lacerate the cheeks and gums. Wolf teeth, if present, should be removed prior to bridling. Dental exams should be performed every six months until five years of age to remove any loose caps and file any sharp points that have developed due to losing teeth. Once your horse has all his or her permanent teeth, examinations once a year should be sufficient.

Oral examination requires sedation and a full-mouth speculum. Sedation allows your horse to relax during the procedure so that the veterinarian can completely evaluate and correct any dental issues. Unlike other dental speculums, the full-mouth speculum distributes pressure evenly across all the incisors to reduce strain on the TMJ. The horse’s head is suspended in a padded swing and supported by an experienced technician to reduce stress on the neck and poll.

Our equine veterinarians use Powerfloat® technology to perform a gentle and thorough dental equilibration in a shorter period of time than manual flotation. The rotary burr on the Powerfloat® will not lacerate the cheeks or tongue like traditional hand floats can.

Additional procedures that we are also able to perform include:

  • Intraoral extractions
  • Intraoral and standard radiographs
  • Treatment of periodontal disease
  • Orthodontics
  • Root canals, both conventional and surgical
  • Surgical extractions
  • Restorations of decayed teeth
  • Periodontal surgeries

We encourage you to read Dr. Clabaugh’s excellent article on the benefits of equine dental health.

Please contact us to schedule your horse’s next dental checkup.


“Competent and helpful.”

“Professional and compassionate.”

“I have been using CEH for years, and I have 100% faith in them.”

“I always have a great experience with them.”

“I recommend them for all your horses medical needs.”

“We always have a good visit when we take our horses to Columbia Equine!”

“Columbia Equine has a wonderful staff of professionals & state of the art equipment.”

“They're focused on the well being of the animals more than anything else. They educate the customer and are helpful in many aspects, I recommend them all the time!”

– Marlene

“Blessed am I to have this great vet team behind me and my pony thank you Columbia Equine Hospital! You rock!”

– Lauren

“Thank you for the great addition to your already top notch staff at Columbia Equine. We love you guys!”

“Amazing vets and beautiful facility. I've had my horses under their care before and they do an awesome job! I would recommend any of my fellow horse friends to take their horses there.”

“I can not begin thank Dr. Hanson and staff for the amazing care they gave my horse...”

“My initial conversation was with Alexis, me asking a lot of questions, she providing a lot of professional answers and setting up an appointment for a farm visit later that day, to Dr. Rioux-Forker showing up on time, listening to the problems we are having with our OTTB, Leon, asking thoughtful questions, and suggesting helpful solutions, we were very happy with every interaction we had with the staff at Columbia Equine Hospital. Very helpful. Very professional. Very experienced. And reasonably priced. Thank you!”