title=AEDP Australian Equine Dental Practice Index. Written and
by Peter Borgdorff
All about the
teeth, equine dentistry, correct treatment, training as a horse
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I hope you will gain knowledge
this site which I have written following 21 years of experience in
dentistry. I hope it will help you and your horse. It is designed
to give practical information to owners, equine dentists, equine
veterinary technicians, research professionals, educators and
site as a bookmark/ favorite press Ctrl+D
I have given priority to
requested information. It will make it easier to understand the
a horses teeth work, what can go wrong and the basics of dental
Read more about the
his background and new equine dental technology.
The American Journal of
the Veterinary Medical Association reported about a study by Drs
Traub-Dargatz, Kopral et Ors about the US national incidence of and
risk factors for colic among horses from 1998-1999. It says:"The
national incidence of colic in the US horse population was estimated to
be 4.2 colic events/100 horses per year. Case fatality rate was 11% and
1.4% of colic events resulted in surgery." That colic is suffered
by so many horses is a cause for deep concern when one considers the
and trauma to both horses and owners. The report further states
it is costing the US an amount of AU$205.000.000 per year.
in older horses correct dental maintenance and dietary planning can
reduce the incidence of colic. A large number of calls to this
are made by people who suspect that their horses' inability to
feed properly may have been the cause of colic. The author will
further comments and resources relating to this topic in the
AWFA Inc. for Fans of
The Australasian Warmblood
Association maintains a register for the Friesian derived
What is a Warmblood Friesian? The Warmblood Friesian is a purpose
bred sporthorse carrying no less than 25% Friesian blood.
Dressage, harness and other
enthusiasts are drawn to these stunning horses. In recognition of
the character of the Friesian breed you are provided with an example
a pure Friesian on this
page . The AFWA provides articles, contacts and information
breed standards, studs and overseas organisations. Membership
to promoting this noble breed.
For information about Friesian
sporthorses, visit the site of the AWFA Inc. and ask yourself if you
be involved. Click
The Thoroughbred industry in
is one of the truly great industries especially in economic and social
terms. No other industry can attract wealthy people to breed and race
at huge cost and so provide countless jobs in geographical areas where
jobs are difficult to find. Australia is one of the world's great
producers of thoroughbreds and is well served by Thoroughbred Breeders
Australia. Their site is valuable for all horse owners.
To find out more about
Breeders Australia, click
Find Horse Info the Easy
For those of you who scratch
head trying to find good horse information on the Internet, here are
As voluntary editor for the Open
Directory Project, the world's largest human edited directory, I
it to view information by category. You can also search at the
of each page. Here are some interesting categories from DMOZ:
Another very good way of finding
information is to use the extensive search features of:
When I stumbled across the UK
of the International League for the Protection of Horses and read about
Annie, a neglected pony, (note the before and after photos) I
the work of the ILPH rescuers was worth a mention.
The ILPH has improved conditions
worldwide for horses transported long distance for slaughter and
to lead the campaign to ban this trade. Five Rehabilitation Centres
and re-house cruelty cases in the UK while the ILPH's active training
improves the lives of horses in the developing world. Visit
All over the world veterinary
endeavour to inform their clients about the teeth of the horse and
treatment. Although many veterinary colleges are unable to give
depth instruction on the subject, it is good to see many veterinarians
make an effort to inform both themselves and subsequently the public.
such veterinarian is Dr David Becker, DVM MEng, who practices in
Kentucky US, who put a page with some nice photos on his
Check out www.häst.net.
A veterinarian practising in the
UK, Hanne Engstrom MRCVS has put together a comprehensive
There is a section on determining a horse's age and an interesting
section. (enlargements can only be viewed in Internet Explorer). The
is on treatment styles originating from the US.
Dental Function and
The filing of molar teeth needs
to be rendered with care in order to preserve the horse's ability to
These grinding surfaces, also known as tables, are shown here and you
enlarge them by clicking on them:
The upper and lower molar tables
meet together and are naturally rough to enable the horse to grind the
feed into small particles. They consist of materials of different
hardness which cause higher and lower areas. The objective of
molar bite abnormalities is to keep these grinding surfaces as intact
possible. A horse without molar table roughness cannot grinds its
feed. The Australian Equine Dental Practice promotes 'staged
this means bite abnormalities are corrected over a longer period of
This could be the case when a horse is treated for wave mouth or
Dentistry Training with
Training with the Australian
Dental Practice has been a stepping stone to a career as an Equine
by a number of people. Where consideration of the horse takes
and the manner of treatment is widely respected, there are valid
to consider this training. Not professing to be the guru who
all, Peter Borgdorff
endeavours to teach genuine candidates a caring approach that uses
methods which respect the natural structure of equine dentition whilst
aiming to correct abnormal conformation. No other persons are
by Peter to teach these methods. The word 'academy' or 'school' is not
used, because like other private organisations there is no government
It is the policy of affiliates
Australian Equine Dental Practice not to break the law by supplying or
administering 'supply restricted' drugs to your horse. Rarely
a horse need to be sedated due to experienced handling and limited
duration. However, if this is necessary an equine veterinary
can be arranged on your behalf.
If you want to report unlawful
drug supply or use in Australia
SUBMISSION TO THE
PROPOSED VETERINARY PRACTICE REGULATION 2006 UNDER THE VETERINARY PRACTICE ACT 2003
ASSOCIATION OF EQUINE DENTAL PRACTITIONERS (AUST) INCORPORATED
Kurt Boegel, Secretary,
P. O. Box 166, Macedon, VIC 3440.
The Association has members throughout Australia and has several members who conduct practices in NSW. Advice about the proposed Regulation was received at the eleventh hour, giving us less than 2 weeks to prepare this submission and liaise with our members. It is for that reason we did not address all points of the proposed Regulation in detail.
Historically, the filing of equine teeth and tending to other oral disorders has been conducted by a variety of people, some were experienced and knowledgeable, many were not. Over the past hundred years or so there has been less and less veterinary involvement in equine dental treatment and public education. Indeed, a 2003 survey by the RIRDC contains ample reflections that highlight reasons why equine veterinarians had not pursued gaining equine dental treatment skills nor intended to pursue them in future.
In recent times more veterinarians and so-called equine dental technicians have taken up adapted industrial power tools which require sedation. The introduction of power tools is often combined with expensive courses commonly lasting as little as 2 days or 2 weeks. This illustrates the fact there is money in ‘new age’ equine dentistry. Some veterinary tutors proclaim ease of use, convenience and are even actively involved in marketing power equipment which suggests questionable ethics. Astonishingly, it has been reported that as little as two minutes of power grinding without water cooling can irreversibly damage the tooth pulp (G. Baker, Uni. of Ill.) Many trained dentists and more experienced veterinarians frown on the use of power tools and the sedation of every patient. There are currently 2 equine dentistry schools in Victoria who do not advocate the routine use of power equipment. If high speed diamond cutters are used continuous water cooling is to be applied.
Many veterinarians testify that undergraduate education in equine dentistry is extremely deficient and does not even equip a veterinary surgeon for basic equine dental procedures. Compare this to the 5 months theoretical and practical training (preceding industry experience) which is now considered a standard for certified equine dentists in the south of Australia. It is the minimum standard required for graduates requiring membership of the Association of Equine Dental Practitioners (Aust).
However, we need little debate about the substantial role a veterinarian can play in collaborative patient management. Much suffering of the horse is prevented when professionals in different fields work together. There are many such examples that testify to the success of such ‘patient comes first’ processes.
The welfare of the horse must come first. Legislation must provide a workable solution to facilitate those properly trained to be continuously scrutinized in the performance of their duties. The proposed legislation fails to safeguard horse welfare and is not a reflection of reality. The blunt ‘all vets are trained to do teeth’ leaves horses prone to become victims of the unskilled. We have averted many a court case by placating owners who had unrealistic expectations and found serious issues went unaddressed. We strongly support veterinarians who operate within the bounds of their knowledge and each of our members has built extensive networks based on exceptional horse care and professional respect. Assisting owners making a correct choice is now also being addressed by the our Association.
3. EQUINE DENTAL PRACTITIONERS BOARD
The Association of Equine Dental Practitioners (Aust) has instituted a process which provides for a governing body, the Equine Dental Practitioners Board, for which we are currently calling candidates. Those being invited include equine dentists, veterinarians, RSPCA delegates, Australian Veterinary Dental Society members and senior judicial officers. The seven member Board will govern the process of initial examination and the annual licensing of equine dental practitioners. It will also oversee annual member evaluations to ensure adherence to the Code of Practice as established by our Association. It will also have a range of sanctions available to it. Suitably experienced or qualified equine dentists and veterinarians may apply for examination and licensing. Licenced members will never be able to perform surgical procedures or administer drugs unless they are registered veterinary practitioners. Licensed members may only operate within clearly defined pain threshold guidelines.
The operation of the Board will ensure treatment integrity within a framework of collaboration with other professionals such as veterinarians who do not wish to become licensed but focus on other equine care instead. It will also channel educational processes and research grants.
The Association strongly opposes introduction of the legislation in its current form. Much as we support malpractices being addressed, the proposed legislation is ill-conceived and should be re-drafted. As outlined in the preceding paragraphs, we cannot support a regulation that prevents suitably qualified persons from rendering essential equine dental treatment procedures which have traditionally not been part of veterinary practice. Some of the treatment we currently render as equine dentists includes diagnostics such as evaluation of the bite surfaces and gingival health and treatment combined with removal of feed from gingival pockets, extraction of small tooth fragments, small wolf teeth and caps. We adhere to strict pain threshold guidelines.
5. RECOMMENDATIONS PART ONE
We ask the Committee to reject the legislation pertaining to equine dentistry in its current form on the following grounds:
a. The statutory objectives of the Veterinary Practice Act 2003 are not being met in that they fail to promote animal welfare:
i. It negatively affects proper care by excluding many better trained and more experienced equine dental professionals.
ii. The vast majority of those proposed to be put in charge of equine dental care are not skilled in equine dentistry, due to lack of education and experience.
iii. It fails to outlaw the use of dangerous equipment or practices such as dental shears, molar cutting sliding bolts, Swayles mouth gags and the practice of suspending heads of sedated horses from the rafters.
b. Inadequate stakeholder and public consultation.
i. As stakeholders we have had less than 2 weeks to examine the proposal. This has also been inadequate to encourage public input that we may have otherwise provided to you.
ii. We have not heard of any reports in equestrian magazines or letters to editors about the proposed Regulation. It would appear to fall short of what is reasonably expected under Regulatory Impact Statement guidelines.
c. The Act’s statutory objectives are also not being met as it fails to provide a mechanism for informing the public about equine dental competencies required by those proposed to enact those competencies.
d. Under the statutory objectives of the Veterinary Practice Act certain acceptable standards are required to be met, however:
i. There are no standards set for education. The veterinary profession has long acknowledged virtual absence of theory or practical education covering equine dentistry. This is unlikely to satisfy the horse-owning public and is therefore not in their interest. There will be serious concern for animal welfare.
ii. Standards are absent and veterinary operators are inadequately governed. Having a process where the quality control relies on complaints to be received from aggrieved members of the public does not come close to any international standards.
e. Limiting equine dentistry by persons other than veterinarians to two basic procedures, namely filing and cleaning, effectively means:
i. Conscientious equine dentists who took their jobs seriously can no longer practice as they cannot render a comprehensive service nor can they file young horses which have caps about to be shed.
ii. This regulation will create a virtual veterinary monopoly. The rendering of these services by veterinarians, with their common sedation and use of power tools, will mean prices will increase by about 200%. A standard treatment now costs $50- to $60- and will cost between $120- and $250-. This is a reasonable estimate.
f. It will affect international trade and local business activity. Several schools in Victoria have gained a reputation here and overseas and graduates are sought after.
6. RECOMMENDATIONS PART TWO
The Association is putting in place regulation of equine dentistry by way of the Equine Dental Practitioners Board, Annual Licensing, Annual Quality Reviews and the Code of Practice.
The process by which this may be formalized in the Regulation could be:
a. Removing Pt 2 Clause 4 (1)(d)(xi) from page 7 of the Draft
b. Adding Pt 2 Clause 7 to read:”No person attending on a horse for the purpose of conducting oral or dental examination or undertaking dental or oral treatment shall be deemed to be conducting an act of veterinary science provided such person is Accredited by the Equine Dental Practitioners Board to perform such procedures.”
Important: No person is permitted under those controls to perform anything other than procedures below a prescribed pain threshold. No non-veterinary surgeon may ever administer drugs. All other equine dental procedures are to be conducted with a veterinary surgeon in attendance, or by an EDPB accredited veterinary surgeon.
The controls proposed are similar to those that have been in operation among our members for a long time. We can provide a list a veterinary surgeons who can attest to the fact that this system of controls works extremely well.