The most advanced preventive care and dental treatments in the Grand Strand
Our Dental Equipment
As a practice with a heavy emphasis on dentistry, we have the full range of equipment needed to perform any dental services needed, and we are always adding on more!
Our PowerFloat comes with all the bells and whistles! We have 3 different shafts that can be easily changed out for different uses. The Chamfer (wedge-shaped) disk has been a fantastic upgrade to float the points, and has been producing not only better rounding-off of the points, but our patients have been able to last longer in between dental exams without re-developing sharp points! The circular disk is used for reducing overgrown teeth. The third shaft has three bits that can be changed out as well, and is particularly useful in miniature horses. We also have a specialized Chamfer disk for minis (lower picture, on left) - the normal disks tend to cause a significant amount of collateral soft tissue damage, while this bit hits just the points!
To examine the entire mouth, you need a completely still head and tongue, and to achieve that, you need a very sedated horse! The addition of our stocks has eliminated most of our previous sedation problems - the horses can place their entire body weight against any surface of the stocks, and if needed, we also have straps to support older horses who need a lot of sedation due to painful mouhts, but whose bodies are more sensitive to these higher doses. We have also used our stocks to support older, arthritic horses who cannot support themselves during hoof trims, and to lift down horses when other equipment has not been available!
Cleaning the incisors is a very important part of every dental exam! Excessive tartar at the gum line and feed stuck between the teeth not only causes gingivitis and receding gums, but pain! We have noted significant improvement in the health of diseased gums after even just one incisor cleaning. We have always provided manual cleanings as a part of every dental exam, but recently we have purchased an ultrasonic scaler. This machine not only cleans more effectively both on the visible surfaces and under the gums, but also causes less damage to the enamel while doing so!
Mirror, Picks, and Probes
You cannot treat problems that you don't know are there! Accordingly, you need the right set of tools to diagnose problems in such a hard-to-examine area as horses' mouths. We have a large array of diagnostic tools that we use during our exams, the most important of which is our mirror. We use the mirror to examine every surface of every row of teeth to identify problems that may be hiding. In this picture, in the mirror you can see a tumor on the gums right below this tooth. Without the mirror and a bright light, we never would have known this was there. Fortunately for this horse, the biopsy of this tumor came back as benign!
A Very Bright Headlamp
During our experience with equine dentistry, we have had the opportunity (or misfortune?) of performing dentals under many different levels of light. It is quickly evident that you cannot do an appropriate job without an extremely bright light source. Our current headlamp is the brightest light available and has made for much better dental exams!
Digital radiography is an essential part of advanced dental cases. Sinus infections caused by infected teeth must be evaluated with radiographs, as it is nearly impossible to accurately select by site the correct tooth to be extracted. Furthermore, many extraction cases need to be radiographed after the extraction to ensure that all tooth material was in fact removed, as this commonly leads to re-occurance of sinus infections later on. We also use radiographs to evaluate the severity of especially deep cavities of the cheek teeth and to determine if the affected teeth need to be extracted. In the picture at the right, you can see the infection at the root of the last cheek tooth in this horse. This tooth was extracted under general anesthesia, and the socket and sinus were flushed for several days to remove all infected material.
Tooth extractions can be tricky in horses, and we often need a lot of tools to get out a difficult tooth! We have extraction equipment for incisors, wolf teeth, and cheek teeth, including dental extractors themselves, elevators, molar spreaders, and more! During the life of MBEC, we are proud to say we have been able to successfully complete all extractions without referral for surgery!