How Much Does Horse Teeth Floating Cost?
Horse teeth floating is an important procedure that most horses need to undergo. Teeth floating refers to the process in which the enamel points (sharp edges) on the surface of the horse’s tooth are removed. The reason that this is referred to as “floating” is that the file used to smooth out the edges is called a float. When the enamel points of a horse’s teeth are left untreated, these can cause pain during intake and performance. These sharp points will make it hard for the horse to eat and to hold a bit in its mouth; in addition, these points can cause discomfort for the horse. Research reveals that regular dental care and floating can increase the digestible energy by 20%. In addition, ensuring proper maintenance helps in making the horse’s teeth stay healthy for five to ten years longer.
How much does it cost?
- On average, horse teeth floating is going to cost anywhere from $80 to $220 per horse. If sedation is required, tack on another $10 to $30 for the entire procedure.
- According to Equusite.com, a 20-40 minute dental exam alone often costs between $30 and $70.
- For instance, the company Advanced Equine Dental offers dental services for $150 for horse owners who will have their own veterinarian in attendance. They charge $230 for horse owners who will use the services of the company’s onsite veterinarian. It is important to have a veterinarian on site in case something goes wrong.
- GoodEquineDentalServices.com charges $60 for horses older than 4; if the horse needs sedation, the process will cost $70.
- According to America’s Horse Daily, floating costs $85 per horse, while sedation fees cost $25 per horse.
- Alison Cornwall DVM charges an hourly rate of $126 with a minimum 30-minute charge of $63. Her floating services cost $29 in materials in addition to the time charge. This gives the price range of $92 to $155 depending on how long the process takes.
What is going to be included?
- When performing the floating process, the equine dental technician typically observes the body condition of the horse. He will check its head for any signs of TMJ (Tempro-mandibular joint), will evaluate the condition of the incisors, and uses a full mouth speculum to check the mouth interior and examine the molars.
- The front teeth of the horse are used to cut hay and grass, after which the back cheek teeth grind the hay and grass. This entire process helps to put the food into a form that is easy for the horse to digest. If the front teeth are not cut the hay and grass properly, the digestive system can suffer.
What are the extra costs?
- Some equine dental services charge a first-time floating fee for horses who have never been floated before.
- Many equine dental services charge farm call fees (traveling fees) to reach a farm. Some do not charge farm fees if they are in a “loop of travel.”
- The purchase of sedatives may be required in some cases. This will be in addition to the extra charge for sedation that has already been added.
- Charges beyond a routine float may also require additional fees. These include medication, wolf teeth and hook removal.
- Some equine dental professionals charge for therapeutic and rescue facilities.
Factors that influence the price:
- Type of dental work. The total amount of the dental service depends on the type of work the equine dentist will perform on the horse. Advanced dentistry procedures call for higher costs.
- Location. Floating fees may vary from state to state. Also, the distance of the farm from where the equine dental technician is located plays a factor in the cost of the services.
- Experience. Some equine dentists demand higher rates basing on their reputation and extensive experience.
- Additional expenses. Several equine dentists factor in added expenses including the cost of a vehicle to visit their patients, the cost of fuel, as well as the purchase and repair of their equipment, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Tips to know:
- After the initial dental visit, it is advisable that two visits a year be scheduled until the horse reaches five years of age, when its permanent teeth have come in. Afterward, dental visits may be carried out once or twice a year, depending on the horse.
- Find a certified equine dentist who holds memberships in recognized equine dentistry organizations.
- There are signs that your horse’s teeth need to be floated. The first one is weight loss, which is a result of the horse eating less because of the discomfort. Another sign is the horse tossing its head side to side while opening its mouth.
How can I save money?
- Rates vary from one equine dentist to another. Conduct online research and compare rates offered by those in close proximity to your farm.
- If you have several horses, take advantage of discounts offered to group services.
- If you have any other dental work or services that need to be done, try to get it all done at once. By combining procedures, you will be able to save the most money, especially if the dentist charges for farm calls.