The practice of equine dentistry is an integral branch of professional equine veterinary practice. This discipline encompasses all aspects of the evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of any and all diseases, disorders, and conditions that affect the teeth, oral cavity, mandible, maxillofacial area, and the adjacent and associated structures. Additionally, equine dentistry includes the evaluation of the presentation and contribution of systemic diseases within the oral cavity and the contribution of oral conditions to the overall health of the individual horse.

Any surgical procedure of the head or oral cavity; the administration or prescription of sedatives, tranquilizers, analgesics or anesthetics; procedures which are invasive of the tissues of the oral cavity including, but not limited to, removal of sharp enamel points, treatment of malocclusions of premolars, molars, and incisors, odontoplasty, the extraction of first premolars and deciduous premolars and incisors; extraction of damaged or diseased teeth; treatment of diseased teeth via restorations or endodontic procedures; periodontal and orthodontic treatments; dental radiography and endoscopy of the oral cavity are veterinary dental procedures and should be performed by a licensed veterinarian.

In states where the Veterinary Practice Act allows, the AAEP supports the use of licensed veterinary technicians under the employ and immediate supervision of licensed veterinarians for specific and appropriate veterinary dental procedures as enumerated in that state’s practice act.

Revised by AAEP board of directors in 2019.

Resource Type

  • Position Statements


  • Dentistry

Publish Date

January 1, 2019