Retained Dental Cap in Horses



There is only one method of treatment for a dental cap, and that is removal of the tooth with dental forceps. Done properly, the temporary tooth is usually easy to remove unless it is impacted tightly against another tooth. Removing a retained cap usually requires standing sedation for the horse so it will stand quietly while the veterinarian works with its mouth held open by an instrument called a mouth speculum. Your veterinarian may team up with an equine dentist to work the case.


Living and Management


It may take a couple of days for your horse’s eating habits to get back to normal, as the removal of a tooth will realign the horse’s bite and, depending on how tightly it was adhered, may be painful for a few days. However, eating should not be much slower or more painful than it was with the presence of the dental cap, and the condition should quickly improve as the site heals and the permanent tooth fixes itself in the gum line.




There is no prevention for retained baby teeth in horses. It is commonly encountered and often simple to fix. The possible presence of retained dental caps is one of many reasons to have your young horse’s mouth checked twice yearly by your veterinarian or equine dentist.