Power Tools and Equine Dentistry

The EDAA does not support the use of non water-cooled powered dental tools:

  • The incorrect use of powered dental tools creates heat which can cause irreversible damage to the horse’s teeth
  • Sedation is usually required which can only be administered by a registered veterinarian
  • Sedation is rarely required with the use of hand files
  • Traditional hand files are very precise to use and a qualified dentist can tell exactly how much tooth is being removed
  • Powered dental tools are less accurate. The cutting heads are bulky making them particularly difficult to use in the limited space between the cheek and upper molars
  • There are still major concerns with the use of powered dental tools with respect to horse welfare and damage to the teeth from heating of the dental pulp

Please see the links below for in-depth information on the risks to your horse from using power tools in Equine Dentistry.

Animal Welfare issues associated with low speed, non-water cooled rotary instruments (pdf)

Animal Welfare issues associated with low speed, non-water cooled rotary instruments – Pamela J.G. Craig Oral Anatomy, Medicine and Surgery Unit School of Dental Science The University of Melbourne.

The University of Melbourne (pdf)

The University of Melbourne short report on temporomandibular disorder in humans prepared for the Animal welfare Action Committee

Temperature changes in dental pulp associated with use of power grinding equipment on equine teeth.

Scientific Abstract. Study to quantify the temperature changes in the dental pulp associated with equine dental procedures using power grinding equipment. Wilson GJ1, Walsh LJ.

In vitro study of heat production during power reduction of equine mandibular teeth

Scientific Presentation Abstracts. Study to measure the amount of heat generated during 3 methods of equine dental reduction with power instruments. Allen ML1, Baker GJ, Freeman DE, Holmes KR, Marretta SM, Scoggins RD, Constable P.

S-B Power Tool Company (pdf)

Letter from Jennifer Uzumcu Associate Safety Engineer regarding the use of rotary power tools for medical, dental and veterinary uses.

Rotary Dental Instruments and Equine Teeth (pdf)

Rotary Dental Instruments and Equine Teeth – Pamela J.G. Craig Oral Anatomy, Medicine and Surgery Unit School of Dental Science The University of Melbourne