It is sometimes necessary for infected or fractured cheek teeth to be removed and with full surgical facilities at hand, the step from diagnosis to treatment is seamless and hospitalisation times kept to a minimum.
When considering cheek tooth removal the technique of choice in the majority of cases is extraction of the tooth through the mouth, which is generally performed under standing sedation aided by regional nerve blocks. Standing cheek tooth extractions can be laborious, however the post-surgical complication rate is far lower than traditional repulsion techniques and the time spent in a successful standing extraction is usually repaid by the horse’s swift return to normal function.
At Rossdales Equine Hospital we have developed a particular expertise in standing cheek tooth extractions. This expertise, combined with a wide array of surgical instrumentation, means that there is an excellent chance that teeth of all varieties (including fractured teeth) can be successfully removed in the standing patient. Latterly, real-time endoscopic imaging is being employed during the more challenging extractions and to ensure complete removal of dental material from the alveolar socket following the extraction of fractured teeth.
In a small proportion of cases, in which standing extraction is not possible or successful, horses may undergo dental repulsion surgery under general anaesthesia. Post-surgical aftercare may include wound management and sinus lavage and in these cases high quality hospital care can be an important contributor to a successful outcome.