CTE Task: Equine Dental Exam and Extraction​

Click here to download the teacher resource for this task. 


Veterinary Science


1 hour


Task Description


In this activity, students will



Veterinary Science

Fundamental Care and Health of Horses

  1. Synthesize research on the historical importance of horses, noting major economic, social, and medical advances impacting domestication. Produce an informational essay or model (such as a timeline, graphical illustration, or presentation) that formulates comparisons among different horse breeds and hybrids. Demonstrate conceptual understanding and technical skill in current practices of comprehensive health care and management for the following: Distinguish between clinical signs of proper health and poor health, justifying explanations with data and evidence


 Content Understandings

Extending Understandings

Upon successful completion of these tasks, students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Explain the process of conducting an oral equine exam;
  • Identify tools used in equine dentistry;
  • Summarize the process of oral surgery in equine dentistry;
  • Film yourself demonstrate two different restraint methods and include a narrative step-by-step process for safe application.


To move students towards deeper understanding, they should be given opportunities to:

  • Explain why all small and large animal veterinarians need to possess these skills;
  • Discuss how communication skills are needed alongside technical knowledge to effectively explain the medical issue and calm the client; 
  • Explain how someone interested in veterinary medicine practice can develop these skills.


Support Strategies

If students are struggling to access this task, additional supports and strategies could be employed as students are engaging with the task.

Key Terms

Sentence Frames

Scaffolded Questions





A horse’s teeth can ____________ throughout their entire life.


After I had my mare’s teeth __________ (ground and filed), she started eating all her feed.

  1. Why is it important to have an annual dental exam for equine?
  2. Why should equine dentistry be important when a horse can live without teeth?


Instructional Resources

Equine Dentistry at UT College of Veterinary Medicine. (UT College of Veterinary Medicine. (2019, Oct. 24). Equine Dentistry at UT College of Veterinary Medicine [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7ogc2aR288&t=1s)

Horse dentist pulls fractured tooth. (Veterinarians On Call. (2015, Jan. 28). VetsOnCall – Horse dentist pulls fractured tooth [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5YT0lsChhU&list=RDCMUCKX9hoVWcAJ-Qvfq3-saRZQ&index=1)

Student Resources

Click here to download the student resource for this task. 

Guided Notes for Watching the Equine Dentistry at UT College of Veterinary Medicine Video

Directions: Use these notes as a guide to capture key important information about Equine Dentistry at UT College of Veterinary Medicine video.

  1. How are horses' teeth different than the teeth of cats and dogs?
    1. They ____________________________________their life.
    2. They will form _____________ and those ________________ can cause great discomfort.
    3. Routinely, horses’ teeth must be _____________ or _____________.
    4. As they age, horses will __________________________ teeth.
  2. Can horses survive without teeth? Explain your answer.
  3. A ___________________________________ is a large metal device, lined with rubber that goes on the horse’s teeth and is used to open the mouth.
  4. The next two steps used in conducting a dental exam involve ____________________ the horse and _______________ its mouth.
  5. Veterinarians will try to _____________________________________ the oral cavity by using ______________________________________ or an _____________________________________________ .
  6. During the exam, it is essential to check in the back of the mouth to see if the teeth have any ________________ or ______________________________________________________.
  7. An oral endoscope can help:
  8. Should the horse’s annual physical exam and dental exam be the same exam? Explain your answer.


Guided Notes for Watching the Horse Dentist Pulls Fractured Tooth Video

Directions: Use these notes as a guide to capture key important information about the Horse Dentist Pulls Fractured Tooth video.


  1. Name five tools used in equine dentistry.


  1. What two steps were taken to prepare the horse for oral surgery (tooth extraction)?
    1. Step 1:
    2. Step 2:


  1. What was wrong with the horse’s tooth?


  1. What does the veterinarian have to do to get the tooth out, and why is this method necessary?


  1. Why does the veterinarian use a diamond disc float with water irrigation?


  1. Based on this video, what skills do you think a veterinarian should possess to be successful?