Equilibration And Lateral Excursion In Equine Dentistry

Geoff Tucker, DVM FAQ - Modern Leave a Comment

Based On Poor Science And Not Needed

“Equilibration” and “lateral excursion” are definitions used in modern equine dentistry to describe issues seen inside the horse’s mouth. These dentists evaluate the movement of the jaw and adjust this movement through filing off edges in a manner that aligns the jaw. I feel that there are three issues that invalidate these procedures.

  1. First is that the primary cause is not directly addressed (the removal of pain); however, the sharp points are removed so it is addressed secondarily. In other words, it is the removal of pain that the horse is responding to, not the equilibration procedure.
  2. The second issue is that a horse chews 10,000 to 40,000 times in a day so all the work done by the equilibration process may be gone in a week or two as the horse equilibrates by himself.
  3. And third, if the jaw has been out of equilibration for a while, is it possible that correcting it in one procedure may injure the horse? We certainly would not abruptly change hoof angles without worrying about creating lameness.

So why do so many horses after being floated using these modern techniques stop eating for days or weeks? This happens so rarely in our practice where our only focus is on the elimination of oral pain.

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