Extractions in horses can be incredibly routine to very involved.
Most extractions are routine. Half of all horses, either sex, will have wolf teeth. They erupt before 1 yr old typically, and fully by 2 years. Seventy-Five percent of horses perform better with their wolf teeth removed.
Wolf teeth may be solitary or in pairs, sitting just forward of the first upper cheek tooth, and are only very rarely present on the lower jaw.
The molars, in contrast, are removed in the medical circumstances of becoming loose, fractured, infected, or malformed. They erupt throughout the life of the horse, so the aged have much shorter roots, which causes more instability problems, but also facilitates ease of extraction when needed.
When possible I prefer root canals in teeth of young horses with extended roots rather than extraction. This preserves the integrity of the entire dental arcade which works together as a tight 'unit.' The amount of work with either technique is similar in young horses.
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