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The Syllabus Of “The Essentials Of Equine Dentistry”

Introduction to The Essentials of Equine DentistryA bit about me and why I developed The Tucker Technique of Horsemanship Dentistry™ which places the needs of the horse above our needs for the horse.
The reasons for learning Horsemanship Dentistry™The Tucker Technique Of Horsemanship Dentistry™ focuses on the fundamentals of the husbandry aspect of removing excess tooth enamel which provides relief for the horse from oral pain.
The specialized hypsodont teeth of horsesAbsence of a gall bladder is evidence that horses are continuous eaters.  They are continuously ingesting food so there is no need to store digestive bile in a bladder for use in a meal.  Because of this continuous eating behavior, the horse developed teeth that will last their lifetime.  To do this, they developed a tooth that can replace worn off crown in the chewing process.
The reasons for dentistry in horsesThe continuous eruption of hypsodont horse teeth along with the continuous erosion of the teeth and stropping by the tongue create razor-sharp edges that rub against the cheeks and tongue.  These produce pain that alters the unrestricted movement of the tongue and jaw.
Dentistry as part of the training processTraining a horse to a bit requires a painless connection made between the hands and the horse’s mouth for effective communication. It is the individual reaction to the same training signal that results in the different actions taken by different horses.  This individual variation can make training more of an art form.  The trainer assumes that their signal is correctly interpreted.  Dentistry helps this happen.
The different processes of dentistry in horsesModern equine dentistry is grabbing attention with their automatic sedation, mouth speculum, head immobilization, and power equipment along with their unproven theories.  Horse owners, horse professionals, the printed media, the internet forums, and the state licensing boards have all turned their attention to the subject, but without an adequate understanding of how this came about.  The arguments for modernization of equine dentistry are powerful and convincing.  But are they right and is it in the best interest of the horse?
The various theories in equine dentistryTheories are created by thinking men to explain why things happen.  When we over-think something, we often create theories that make sense but are totally wrong.  They are often developed to offer a solution to a perceived need.

A theory is only an idea.  They must be supported by repeatedly discovered facts.  This unit discusses the theories in equine dentistry and gives evidence to why they are good or bad theories.

Signs for corrective dentistry in horsesThe act of chewing is complex involving a well orchestrated and coördinated movement of the lips, tongue, and jaw.  Any interference in this movement will affect the fluid, rhythmical, and methodical chewing pattern well rehearsed by the horse since birth.  In addition, it will also affect the way the horse perceives the signals sent to him through the bit.
Aging the horseWorn hypsodont teeth of horses are replaced with reserve crown at a regular rate throughout life.  As they do, the surface characteristics change.  Associated changes coincide with the age of the horse.

All horses do not wear their teeth equally and because of this, their age cannot be determined with any degree of accuracy.

Nutrition as related to the teeth in horsesFood must enter into the digestive tract in order for nutrition to occur.  The process starts at the mouth where the structures of the head and mouth harvest the food which then forms a bolus the horse feels comfortable in swallowing.  If the teeth no longer work, the horse will starve.
What is needed today in equine dentistryBecoming clear on the global outcome and purpose of dentistry in horses will allow for better basic care of horses world-wide.  By ending the confusion surrounding equine dentistry with all the conflicting information, the horses worldwide will be better served.
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