Currently in Great Britain, a wide variety of people perform equine dental procedures. Some may be well trained and appropriately qualified Equine Dental Technicians, some may be Veterinary Surgeons, some are both, and some may be very inexperienced people who have had minimal training, but nevertheless perform very advanced dental procedures, sometimes damaging equine teeth. On some occasions they cause serious, even life-threatening injuries to horses’ jaws, mouths and throats. Other people (sometimes referred to as 'tooth raspers' because that is basically all they are legally allowed to do in the UK) just perform simple Category 1 procedures such as rasping off small dental overgrowths.


Category 1 Equine Dental Procedures:

These procedures may be carried out by anyone, irrespective of whether they have undertaken any training or have any qualifications. 

  • Examination of teeth
  • Removal of sharp enamel points using manual (hand) floats only
  • Removal of small dental overgrowths (maximum 4mm reductions) using manual rasps only
  • Rostral profiling of the first cheek teeth (maximum 4mm reductions), previously termed ‘bit seat shaping’
  • Removal of loose deciduous caps
  • Removal of supragingival calculus

A further group of procedures has been deemed suitable to be performed by Equine Dental Technicians that have passed a Defra approved examination such as the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) / British Veterinary Dental Association (BVDA) exam. (In order to join the BAEDT, this exam must be passed). At the present time, the BAEDT is the only association for equine dental technicians that the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) endorses, and encourages its members to support. These further procedures are designated as Category 2 procedures and are listed below:


Category 2 Equine Dental Procedures:

These are additional procedures that are suitable for delegation to an EDT who has trained and passed an examination approved by DEFRA: 

  • Examination, evaluation and recording of dental abnormalities
  • The extraction of teeth or dental fragments with negligible periodontal attachment.
  • The removal of erupted, non-displaced wolf teeth in the upper or lower jaw under direct and continuous veterinary supervision
  • Palliative rasping of fractured and adjacent teeth
  • The use of motorised dental instruments where these are used to reduce dental overgrowths and remove sharp enamel points only. Horses should be sedated unless it is deemed safe to undertake any proposed procedure without sedation, with full informed consent of the owner. 


Further details are available from the BEVA headquarters: Web. www.beva.org.uk  Phone. 01638 723555