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Teeth floating and riding

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  • Originally posted by kmwines01 View Post
    I just wanted to add that I've now had approximately 6-8 lecture hours and about 2-4 hands on lab time for equine dentistry up to this point as a junior veterinary student. I've also had the opportunity to attend a symposium on dental care which included about 4 hrs of lecture and 4 hrs of hands on time. I've also had the chance to float teeth while working with a vet outside of school.
    Sounds like your off to a good start! Lectures are interesting, I'm sure, but there is nothing like getting in the barns and actually floating teeth. After 1,000 floats you might feel like your getting the hang of it. After 10,000 floats you'll find your skills have a long way to go. After 40,000 you realize that your skills will always have room for improvement and there's nothing better than giving a horse relief by floating it's teeth to perfection. Finding that delicate balance between removing too much or too little tooth. The skills to address every aspect of the molar arcades. Good Luck!
    http://www.traditionalequinedentistry.com/

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    • I think that's how most vets feel about everything they do! Horses never seem to read the book or vet the memo about anything, lol.

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      • Bit like learning to ice a birthday cake - you can watch, you can study, you can be told, but it takes an awful lot of practice before you can ice a cake sufficiently well to be able to sell it.
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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        • Originally posted by Toothgrinder View Post
          Sounds like your off to a good start! Lectures are interesting, I'm sure, but there is nothing like getting in the barns and actually floating teeth. After 1,000 floats you might feel like your getting the hang of it. After 10,000 floats you'll find your skills have a long way to go. After 40,000 you realize that your skills will always have room for improvement and there's nothing better than giving a horse relief by floating it's teeth to perfection. Finding that delicate balance between removing too much or too little tooth. The skills to address every aspect of the molar arcades. Good Luck!
          I agree there is no substitute for experience. However, I do not agree that one always, after a certain point, continues to get better at what they do. Some people are more skilled than others and/or take more pride in what they do than others. Based on what you wrote, we all should avoid dentists with only 5 years or so doing teeth, and select someone that has been doing it exclusively for 20+ years.

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          • Why not just schedule the float for after you ride? That way if a horse ends up needing sedation or is a bit sore afterwards you don't have any conflict at all.

            That's what I do. I try and schedule things like farrier visits, floating, shots, and whatnot for after my riding is done for the day. The horses get turned out afterwards and have the rest of the day to themselves.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling

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            • Originally posted by NBChoice View Post
              Do horses actually stand still for floating without sedation? I know I sound really ignorant t, but like I said earlier most people in my area sedate for floating.
              I work with an amazing dentist and every horse he has done has been done without sedation. I swear he has a magic touch. He even got my old difficult horse done without sedation.

              I had never heard of horse dentists until I moved down here. We always had the vets do the teeth where I lived originally. I am so much happier getting the dentist out; much less stress on the horses and a smaller bill for me!

              I am not knocking the vets; I just think that the person needs a lot of experience to float. A vet that floats a couple of horses a week along with his/her other duties is not going to be as good as someone that does it exclusively. A lot of the vets around here really prefer to let the dentists handle the floating.

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              • In traditional farrier training the student serves a 4 year apprenticeship. The reason that 4 years became a standard back in 1356 goes something like this.

                It takes 4 years of full time hands-on experience for an apprentice to fully develop the skill and knowledge base to be a journeyman.

                It takes at least 4 years to see a horse go from foaling to skeletal maturity. It takes at least 4 years for a horse to go from skeletal maturity to prime mental development. It takes 4 years fro a fully developed horse to get to middle age. It takes at least 4 years for a horse to go from middle age to geriatric.

                During a 4 year apprenticeship, a farrier gets to experience a group of horses going through all of the stages of development. This experience is necessary in order for one to become a journeyman - allowed to work on horses unsupervised, but still answering to the master.

                It takes a journeyman another 4 years full time to manage a group of horses through all of the stages of development. After 8 years of full time experience, a journeyman has met the minimum requirement to be considered a master and begin taking on his or her own apprentices.

                obviously this traditional model is not practiced in the USA. But it does have a lot of merit if you think about the life cycle of the horse.

                In equine dentistry, the life cycle of the tooth goes through many more stages over a longer period of time. In order for one to see a group of horses through all of those stages . . . to the point of all their teeth falling out at 30 years+ IMO requires a longer journeymanship than a farrier.

                At 5 years, I think a full time dentist may have had a chance to see horses in all of the parts of the tooth life cycle and even see some of them go through various changes that happen in the mouth over time. At 10 years I think a dentist has managed several groups of horses through the various stages of tooth life.

                Frankly I think it is ludacris to think that a course of instruction in equine dentistry that can only offer snap shots of different horses at different stages and at the most a few hundred supervised floats can prepare a student equally as well as one who has served several years full time as an apprentice. And it is the height of hubris, arrogance, and stupidity to assert that somehow because the student in the short course also got 8 years of academic instruction and a DVM they are not only better qualified, but considered as being an authority capable of supervising non-DVMs regardless of their training and experience background.

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                • Originally posted by caryledee View Post
                  I work with an amazing dentist and every horse he has done has been done without sedation. I swear he has a magic touch. He even got my old difficult horse done without sedation.

                  I had never heard of horse dentists until I moved down here. We always had the vets do the teeth where I lived originally. I am so much happier getting the dentist out; much less stress on the horses and a smaller bill for me!

                  I am not knocking the vets; I just think that the person needs a lot of experience to float. A vet that floats a couple of horses a week along with his/her other duties is not going to be as good as someone that does it exclusively. A lot of the vets around here really prefer to let the dentists handle the floating.
                  So what does he do when a horse needs a tooth pulled?

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                  • Honestly, I do not know, as none of my horses have needed one pulled, aside from wolf teeth and baby teeth. I am sure he has a good working relationship with the vets if it came down to a surgical procedure.

                    It would be the same thing with a farrier...99% of it they handle on their own but they will work with a vet when it crosses over into a veterinary issue.

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                    • I never ride afterward, but that's because I have mine sedated by my vet who does a power float. Anyway, my normal practice is like JSwan's - I plan to give the horses the rest of the day off after any procedure (shots, farrier, etc.)

                      I don't know why people assume that vets can't also be experienced dentists. I have one. I picked her for that reason. I know that she's been floating teeth for at least a decade and she does a good job. I can also trust her to sedate my 30 yr old with poor circulation and a heart murmur. Who would never let anyone near his mouth without sedation.
                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

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                      • Originally posted by CHT View Post
                        But at the same time, how well can they float the back teeth without sedation?
                        My guy just stands there quietly and calmly without sedation. He's a 5 year old TB.

                        The equine dentist a fellow COTHer hooked me up with is awesome.

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                        • My horse usually gets the day of off due to sedation. I ride her the next day though. She goes in a hackamore so no problems for her with a sore mouth.

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