In addition to offering a comprehensive ambulatory dental service, Rossdales clinicians deal with a large number of advanced dental cases on a referral basis. Dental examinations and treatments are undertaken in a dedicated examination room equipped with stocks and a ceiling-mounted head support.
Thorough evaluation of the erupted dental tissues and associated structures is an important part of the diagnostic work-up and assists in the formulation of appropriate treatment strategies. Rossdales Equine Hospital is a leader in the field of intra-oral imaging and the acquisition of high definition digital images of the dental arcades for assessment and archiving is a standard part of our examination procedure for advanced cases. Intra-oral endoscopy often permits identification of subtle defects within the mouth that can contribute significantly to successful investigations into dental infections and headshaking.
During the course of many investigations it is necessary to employ further diagnostic modalities in order to fully evaluate the extent of pathology associated with the teeth or their supporting structures. Digital radiography, computed tomography (CT), gamma scintigraphy and sinoscopy are available on site and ensure that treatment decisions are founded on high quality imaging. All of these imaging modalities may be performed on the standing, sedated patient.
Periodontal work and infundibular and pulpar fillings are undertaken using a periodontal unit. Air abrasion and high speed drill attachments are employed to clean gingival pockets and prepare dental cavities for filling with UV-cure composites. In the vast majority of 'normal' horses infundibular cavities do not cause problems, however on occasion we encounter deep 'coalescing' infundibular caries lesions that can predispose to tooth fracture (in many cases these are found in the opposite dental arcade to teeth that have already fractured).
In these circumstances it is sometimes considered worthwhile to 'fill' the cavity. The images to the right show a deep coalescing caries lesion in a maxillary cheek tooth, before and after filling with composite.
The high-speed drill has also proven to be a very useful instrument for 'widening' diastemata under oroscopic control, and allows far more precise work to be undertaken than is possible with any of the dedicated 'diastema burrs' currently to be found in the equine dental equipment marketplace.