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equine dental float

Dental Float

A "dental" or "float" refers to grinding down sharp hooks and points that form on your horses teeth and balancing the grinding surface of the teeth.

Because horse teeth grow continuously, they frequently become unbalanced and over time very sharp dagger like projections form that can cause the horse great discomfort due to oral ulcerations and cuts. Once this happens, your horse is more prone to "choking" because they are not chewing normally, weight loss, and what might appear to be behavioral problems (not wanting to accept the bit, head shaking, etc.).

Horses should have their teeth checked at least annually. Horses that are very unbalanced may require more frequent floating to get them back on track and in a regular maintenance / annual routine. 

During the Dental

After being sedated, your horses mouth will be flushed with water and a dental speculum will be placed in your horses mouth to allow access to rear molars.

While under standing sedation, your horses head will become very heavy and be placed on a dental stand. You will be asked to help hold your horses head upright while resting on the stand. If you are not physically able to help with this task, please let us know before your appointment so that an assistant can be scheduled.

An electric float is then used to file down any sharp points or hooks in your horses mouth.

After the Dental

Because the float is electric, the procedure will likely not last as long as the sedation, this makes it prime time for you to get a few things done that your horse may or may not be agreeable with when they are fully alert: 

- clipping

- sheath cleaning or "de-beaning"

- "drunk horse" pictures

Other important things to remember about your sedated horse: 

- Keep them isolated from the herd until they are able to move effectively (bossy horses will take advantage of this situation).

- Withhold hay or grain for about an hour- they may choke on incompletely chewed food.

Cost of a Dental

- Trip fees vary upon location, but are typically $45-$65.

- A standard dental with "normal" sedation will run $75-$100

- Horses that require additional sedation or handling time (naughty horses, horses who are not caught and ready, etc) will raise the price a bit.

- Extremely needle shy horses may need to be pre-sedated with oral medication. Because the oral medication takes 30 to 60 minutes to "kick in", this will have to be done by you in advance of the appointment. Please call for the price of this medication and to set up an establishing visit.

Schedule a Dental float


Email Address*


Name, age and breed of your horse

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