Georgina Parkin, BVSc., Cert E.P., MRCVS.
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Dentistry

Focal Overgrowth

equine focal overgrowth

This is a photograph of the upper dental arcades of a horse. You can see on the left hand side of the photo there is a massive overgrowth of the 1st right cheek tooth (106) compared with the 1st left cheek tooth (206) which bears a small hook. Horses grind their food with a side to side motion of the jaw. Thus if one tooth is lost or is intrinsically weaker than the one it is grinding against then one tooth will wear the opposing tooth away. This abnormal wear pattern is shown here with the overgrowth of 106 and the cupping out of 406 the opposing lower cheek tooth (shown below).

equine focal overgrowth treated

To prevent the overgrown tooth continuing to grind away the remnants of the remaining opposing tooth, the 106 was carefully reduced to a level approximate to the adjacent teeth. This form of dentistry is known as POWER TOOL DENTISTRY and should only be carried out by those experienced with the technique and preferably under sedation.