Frequently Asked Questions

 A few of the most frequently asked questions about the practice of Equine Dentistry are detailed below. Please contact us if you think we should add something to this list.


Dental related questions:

What are the signs that my horse needs dental attention?

  • Your horse starts to change their eating habits.
  • The horse may dribble feed, wash feed in the water bucket, hold the head to the side or not eat at all.
  • It's breath might be unpleasant and may have a swollen face.
  • The horse may roll the hay into a ball and drop it on the ground, this is quidding.
  • Please be aware that there may be no obvious signs of dental disease and hence regular treatment and check up is advised.

How often does my horse or pony need dental check ups?

Dental care should start as a yearling to remove sharp edges and identify any future problems.

After the first visit your Equine Dental Technician will recommend an individual dental maintenance plan of usually 6 monthly or 9 monthly; your EDT will advise you accordingly.

Why do Equines' teeth become sharp?

The upper jaw is wider than the lower jaw (anisognathism) and chewing occurs in a mostly sideways-circular motion. This can lead to sharp edges on the outside of the upper cheek teeth and the inside edges of the lower cheek teeth. Horses diets have changed over the years becoming more and more processed and this may exacerbate and accelerate dental problems.

Training and Examination questions:

I am interested in taking the BEVA / BVDA exam. How do I obtain a place and what are the requirements for this exam?

  • EDTs require two references, one of which must be from an MRCVS.
  • A case log (dental charts) of 300 dental cases. These dental charts will have to include 40 cases of more advanced dental procedures taking place under sedation and signed by a vet. (BEVA reserve the right to contact clients or veterinary surgeons involved in each individual case study to verify the work carried out by the candidate). Photographic evidence would be welcome in the portfolio although not essential. (N.B At least 50% of the dental charts will need to be of procedures performed in the UK, including 50% of advanced cases.)
  • The candidate must also spend a minimum of five full days working under supervision with an EDT who has passed the BEVA/BVDA EDT exam or with a vet who performs a high amount of equine dental work. (A time period will be specified in which the days will need to have been spent. Usually the time period is 6 to 9 months before sitting the exam). The EDT or vet will then be independently asked to sign a form confirming that the candidate is ready to sit this examination. If the EDT or vet does not think the candidate is ready to sit the examination the candidate will be asked to defer sitting the exam at that time.
  • The examiners feel that it is very important that candidates do not sit this examination until they have appropriate training and experience to give them the very best chance of passing at the first attempt.
  • Candidates must attend the 2-day BEVA/BVDA advanced theoretical EDT course. The course teaches advanced dental anatomy, equine nutrition, dental disorders and treatments, microbiology, disinfection, health and safety and current legislation in Britain today. It does not give any of the training in the practical skills which must be attained to a very high level if this examination is to be passed.
  • Candidates are strongly advised to attend the pre examination training course which is run over a weekend. This is a superb opportunity for prospective candidates to get practical experience of working under exam conditions, whilst gaining tuition from BEVA / BAEDT qualified members & BEVA examiners in preparation for the exam.

For further details: Contact Us or visit the BEVA website.