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Academic balance versus Baucheriste balance
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Blue Flame
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Joined: Tue Oct 21st, 2008
Location: New Zealand
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 Posted: Thu Aug 11th, 2011 12:23 am
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Dr Deb,

 

Will do. He is a couple of months overdue for his annual dentistry and I have to find a new dentist since his old one retired. I'm pretty certain he doesn't have a lateral imbalance in his mouth. His bite is incredibly straight when viewing his inscisors.

He might have an A/P imbalance though. I was never really convinced at his old dentist's method for checking this ("feeling" the grind while moving lower jaw laterally back and forth with mouth closed. In the 5 years she has been his dentist, she has never taken a tool to his inscisors. He is rising 13 years now. He is at pasture 24/7 and has been for at least the past 5/6 years so hopefully his inscisors haven't run away too much.

Just so as I can judge if the replacement dentist will check for molar occlusion properly - what is the preferred method to determine a proper A/P balance in the mouth?

 

Gratefully,

Sandy

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Aug 11th, 2011 07:54 am
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Exactly what your current dentist is doing. However, incisor reduction should be performed when indicated; some dentists, both veterinarian and layman, are afraid to perform it or not trained to perform it. In this case, the dentist can, by focusing reduction entirely upon the cheek tooth tables, actually float the horse out of occlusion and thus kill him. The incisors must be reduced the right amount, which is, enough to take off excess accumulated length, but not so much as to violate or cut open the pulp chambers. How much this latter is, is a function of the age of the horse as well as some other variables, but in a middle-aged horse in general it is not a problem.

The whole purpose of moving the lower jaw left and right is to be able to visualize when the lower incisors begin to hit the uppers as the jaw is moved across. Uppers and lowers should not touch until the jaw is all the way to the center, i.e. there should be no lateral rubbing of the incisors against each other.

You can tell, sometimes, if there is rubbing by listening while your horse chews. If you hear little or no crunch sounds, this indicates that the cheek tooth tables are having trouble coming into occlusion....if you hear a 'swishing' or squeaking noise, this is made by the incisors rubbing against each other as the jaw muscles draw the lower jaw across in the normal chewing action of the horse, which is mostly sideways.

It is not possible, Sandy, to have merely an "AP imbalance". You can have hooks and ramps, which develop at the fore and aft termini of the cheek tooth batteries, you can have a "Viking funeral ship" where the ends are high and the middle is low, you can have an undulating mouth that's so bad it looks like a shark and not a horse, and any of these and more can make it difficult for the horse to close his mouth, and also make it more likely that the noseband, the bit-ring, or the cheekpieces of the bridle or halter could irritate the horse or hurt him. But all of these things, though they may help offset the jaws fore or aft, derive from the fact that his chewing stroke is abnormal, and that's a mediolateral thing primarily. All malocclusions of these kinds are manifestations of pressure imbalances in the mouth, and to be properly understood, you have to think about it in three dimensions -- up/down, left/right, and fore/aft.

So go find a good dentist and get a consult to figure out how much work will be required to get you caught up. Be aware that currently the Australian Vet Med Assn. is being really ugly to the Australian lay dentists, throwing up every kind of bugbear and legally prosecuting even their own members who cooperate with the laymen or who advocate creating a legal and ethical way for laymen to perform dentistry under veterinary supervision in Australia. If you write me privately at office@equinestudies.org, I will give you the contact for the Australian lay dentistry association, and they can then recommend someone to you. I would not, under any circumstances, use anyone associated with or trained by the veterinarian who is currently the chief prosecutor in this little drama. He is, in my direct experience, incompetent, dishonest, and unethical -- very similar to the bottom-of-the-bucket as it exists in other countries as well, and not at all representative of the majority of Australian veterinarians who are fine practitioners and good people.  -- Dr. Deb

JTB
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Joined: Thu Aug 11th, 2011
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 Posted: Thu Aug 11th, 2011 08:59 am
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Hi All,
Where in New Zealand do you live, Sandy? If you are in the North Island contact me and I can pass the name of our Equine Dentist onto you. He is a vet as well as a dentist, very passionate and committed to his equine patients and I have been very please with his work, the ponies have been too.

I have been enjoying your posts, and thank you for asking the questions. My Standard bred, does sort of the same thing as your horse, she night do it at a walk but mostly its when she is standing still. Your question on the stereotypie thread was great as I thought is was a form of sterotypie. I have been enlightened as usual.

The phrase 'you need to learn to let go of the reins' is a great one, I have embellished this thought a bit for myself...'You need to learn to let go of the reins--but be sure to keep hold of the buckle'. I am not sure if it now has the same gist of, 'Walk softly but carry a big stick' and 'Trust in God but be sure to tie your camel'.

Good luck with your dentist search. Regards Judy

Blue Flame
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Joined: Tue Oct 21st, 2008
Location: New Zealand
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 Posted: Thu Aug 11th, 2011 09:18 am
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Thank you Dr. Deb,

Your reply has re-affirmed my faith in the prior Dentist - especially regarding the feel for the grind. I thought this feel sounded a bit hit and miss but your explanation about how the inscisors should only make contact at the central position of the çhewíng action has enlightened me.

My prior dentist does have a replacement she recommends to take over her prior clients - I can only hope my horse will stand as calmly and co-operatively for him as he did for her - usually finishing off the work without needing the speculum at all. He would just stand there with his mouth open for her.

I now remember that she had participated in one of your anatomy courses so should be aware of all you have mentioned.

Thank goodness I live in New Zealand judging from your description of the current Australian climate for equine dentistry - I hope we never have to deal with that problem here.If you have any recommendations for NZ, Hamilton/Waikato area specifically, I would be grateful.

JTB,

As above, I am in Hamilton. However, NZ being what it is I know most specialist Dentists do travel - my prior one would tour all over doing dentistry and bodywork. Yes, I would be grateful for any recommendation you might have. Thank you for your kind words about my post - I am learning so much here.

I will get his teeth assessed and report back then or after I have had a few more rides on the buckle, whichever comes first.


Sandy

P.S. Please forgive me for taking this thread off the original topic.

Last edited on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 09:21 am by Blue Flame


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