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I am taking the spread of the Coronavirus COVID -19 outbreak very seriously. My number one priority is not only the health and wellbeing of my customers, myself and my family, but also the general population at large in all the decisions I am making.

I am trying to observe 2m social distancing wherever possible, so please try to keep your distance. Please ensure only one person is in attendance for your appointment. I am happy to handle your horse/s alone, please allow me to do this, I will explain clearly what I am doing as usual. If you could present your horse in a head collar that would be most helpful. I am happy to set up and clear away my own equipment, please do not try to help. As always, I will be wearing gloves, and mask and using high level surface disinfectants. Your understanding in joining with me as part of the National effort to minimise transmission of COVID -19 is greatly appreciated.

Mark Thorne - Northern Equine Dentistry

Mark Thorne

BEVA/BVDA Qualified Equine Dental Technician
WhatsAppFacebook07850 011518markrnthorne@gmail.com
WhatsAppFacebook07850 011518markrnthorne@gmail.com
Mark Thorne - Northern Equine Dentistry

Mark Thorne

BEVA/BVDA Qualified Equine Dental Technician

About Equine Dentistry

Horse’s teeth are very different to our teeth, they constantly erupt throughout their life (about 3mm per year) and are worn down as the horse grinds its food. Horses teeth get sharp for a number of reasons;

  • Horses are Anisognathic – which means they have a wider upper jaw than the lower one, so the teeth are not fully in opposition when the mouth is in a resting position. Therefore, when they chew their food they are prone to getting sharp points on the outside edge of their upper teeth and on the inner side edge of their lower teeth.
  • The effect of domestication – In the wild horses spend 18+ hours a day grazing often on very poor quality coarse forage that they have to put more effort into chewing. This aids the wearing down of these sharp points. In the domestic environment we feed them much softer higher quality hay or haylage and soft energy rich grass. On top of that we often feed them concentrates, which although these are sometimes termed “hard feed” are not actually hard at all, so the domestic horse doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to get the same calorie intake.
  • Developmental problems and selective breeding, (smaller gene pools), can often lead to dental abnormalities such as missing teeth, extra teeth, displaced teeth, or an overshot or undershot jaw, which can all alter wear patterns leading to uneven or tall teeth. In the wild, a horse that had bad dentition would probably not survive to pass on its bad genes. In the domestic world, we regularly breed the horses that run the fastest, jump the highest, or perform dressage moves the best without taking other important factors like dental conformation into consideration.

Virtually every horse has what is called an abnormality of wear affecting its dentition. What this means in simple terms is that the teeth become "uneven". It can be subtle or dramatic but some degree of asymmetric wear is generally present.

This is a big problem for horses. Why? Well, uneven wear means that one tooth or several teeth are being worn out faster than the others. This can dramatically shorten the functional lifespan of the teeth and lead to premature expiry of those teeth. The equine dental technicians job is to maintain what is called the “balance” of the mouth, by reducing the under worn teeth, rather confusingly called “overgrowths”.

In the last 20 years or so, motorised rasps have become very popular. Many horse owners assume that if the person “floating” their horses teeth is using ‘power tools” that they are addressing these abnormalities of wear. Sadly, this is all too often not the case. It takes many years of training to become proficient at correcting these “overgrowths“ or “balancing” as it is known.

Horses teeth are also very commonly susceptible to many other diseases similar to those that we can get with our own teeth, such as caries, decay, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth abscesses and so on, therefore a detailed oral examination is an essential part of dental care, so that any issues can be quickly treated before they escalate.

What my clients say

First class equine dentist. Mark really knows his stuff and most importantly cares about the welfare of his patients. I've had some bad experiences with horse dentists in the past who just seem to think a quick rasp is enough. I won't use anyone else now., excellent service.

Steph, Cleveland

My 20 year old pony has had a lot of previous dental work done before I owned him but I have no record of exactly what this entailed, therefore I want to ensure his mouth is properly looked after now he is getting older. I am confident he is in good hands with Mark and I thoroughly recommend him.

Debbie, NW Lancs

Mark has been an immense source of support and advice for us around our horses' dental problems. He is immensely skilled at his profession & has proven to have very sound clinical judgment & I would trust his word absolutely. Our horses can be very difficult to handle & Mark has managed them very well. They both have had previously untreated significant dental problems that Mark has remedied in his first few visits & we are delighted that secondary problems seem to have been averted by his management. I would recommend him without hesitation

Nicky, North Yorkshire

Mark fit me in at short notice when he heard my horse was spitting out his hay. He spent lots of time working on my horses teeth, explaining everything as he did it so I knew what was going on. I would definitely recommend him.

Jessica, Redcar
WhatsAppFacebook07850 011518markrnthorne@gmail.com

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