August 15, 2011


 Lay equine dentists now regulated in Texas

Posted July 27, 2011

After several years of debate about who can perform dental work on Texas horses (see JAVMA, March 15, 2011), a resolution has been achieved.

On May 30, the Texas Legislature moved to professionalize the practice of nonveterinary equine dentistry by passing House Bill 414.

The bill defines and establishes training and educational requirements so that laypersons may legally perform certain aspects of equine dentistry under the supervision of a veterinarian as a licensed "equine dental provider."

That means horse teeth floaters can no longer use the title "dentist." Instead, licensed equine dental providers may use the designation "CEDP" after becoming licensed or "EDP" if they are licensed under the grandfather clause before September 2013.

The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners now will have the authority to regulate nonveterinarian equine dentists. Before, unlicensed individuals lacked minimum practice standards and were not required to meet any basic level of professionalism or accountability, according to a June 6 press release from the Texas VMA.

Under the new law, a licensed equine dental provider may legally provide only the following services, under the general supervision of a licensed veterinarian:

  • Removing sharp enamel points.
  • Removing small dental overgrowths.
  • Rostral profiling of the first cheek teeth.
  • Reducing incisors.
  • Extracting loose, deciduous teeth.
  • Removing supragingival calculus.
  • Extracting loose, mobile, or diseased teeth or dental fragments with minimal periodontal attachments by hand and without the use of an elevator.
  • Removing erupted, nondisplaced wolf teeth.

H.B. 414 becomes law, effective Sept. 1, if approved by Gov. Rick Perry.