Basics of Balanced Dentisrty

With Balanced Dentistry Krystin looks for a three point balance between the Incisors, Molars and the Tempo-mandibular joints. She want to be sure the Mandible or Jaw, can swing freely to the right, to the left, forward to the ground, and backwards toward the body. It is also important that during this exam process, of the unrestricted movement of this jaw, that the horse has molars touching or occlusion. Krystin wants to hear and feel the teeth grind together assuring her that the horse has the maximum chewing surface available.

What your horse should expect

Krystin's evaluation starts as soon as she sees the horse. She wants to see if they have a favorite posture, or if they stride out evenly on all legs. She also tunes into what the horse may be telling her. Over the years the horses have taught her a few signs to clue her into what may be going on in their mouth.

She takes the time necessary to introduce herself to the horse. To her this is the most important part of the process. It is during this time she decides if this horse is going to be a willing participant or if they need some sedation to make this a safe non traumatic experience for both of them. All sedation is done as light as possible, she does not like to work on wobbly horses.

All of Krystin's work is done with specially designed hand instruments and no restraints. She likes to keep the horses head low helping to keep them in a more relaxed state.

She starts at the point in the mouth that will give the horse the greatest relief. This is done to show the horse there is relief coming and normally gives her a much more cooperative patient.

Often times if it is her first time with a horse she will start on the incisors. this is the single most important piece of her job. The incisors have the greatest influence on the the movement of the jaw and the pressure at the horses Tempo-mandibular joints or TMJs. Without properly balanced incisors your horse will not have fluid motion throughout its body.

After the incisor work she will move to the molars. Krystin does not round or flatten the horses molars. Instead she maintains or replaces the natural angle the horse is born with. this angle is is responsible for the guidance system of the chewing motion and also gives the horse a centric resting spot for the jaw.

The dental balancing is finished with a few stretches of the head and neck along with a treat to help reset the horses muscle memory.

A Few Good Reads

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Article written By Dr. Heather Mack on Balanced equine dentistry