Bit Seats Benefit All Horses   page 3 of  3



The photo above shows massive upper 6 molars in the 1st and 2nd arcades.

The upper 206 (right) has been reduced, a bit seat applied,

 illustrating before and after bit seat installation.



Some equine dental practitioners, especially equine dental technicians not possessing veterinary licenses, do not sedate horses except on rare occasions, and do not use power equipment routinely.  Some of these individuals can do excellent work.  For most of us, however, the use of sedation and power equipment makes equine dentistry much easier.




My method of installing bit seats is as follows.  I conduct a brief physical exam and record the values from the exam, quantities and times of administration of initial sedative medications, and fees quoted for the dental work (with the approval of the owner or agent) on the dental chart.  Next, I use a small Dremel hand-piece holding a milled spherical 1/2-inch or 1/4-inch carbide bur on a flexible shaft.  The hand-piece is driven by a 1/5 horsepower Dremel motor controlled by a foot-operated rheostat. 




Using the hand not holding the instrument as a guard to keep the soft tissue out of harm’s way, one can, after some practice, shape the anterior portions of the first cheek teeth into the desired shape within just a few minutes– 2 or less. Other practitioners can be quite proficient at accomplishing the same thing using only hand-powered floats.  According to a recent study by Ralston et al, it is important not to take the reduction to such an extreme that feed digestibility is compromised.  I interpret this as meaning it is desirable to limit the rounding of the sixes to as small an area as needed to provide comfort.  I do not exceed the anterior one third to one half of the occlusal surface of the tooth. 



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© Copyright 2007 Dr. Tom Allen, - All Rights Reserved