Tools of the trade: Powerfloat

Tools-trade equine 300PowerFloat by Dr Justin Daniel, Pambula Vet Clinic, Pambula, NSW

The PowerFloat consists of a three-centimetre carbide/tungsten rotating disc attached to a long shaft powered by a Dewalt battery drill. It’s used in equine dentistry to shape the teeth and grind down the sharp enamel points.

What’s good about it A horse’s circular chewing pattern invariably results in sharp points on the outer edges of the maxillary cheek teeth and inner edges of the mandibular cheek teeth that can cut, ulcerate or lacerate the cheeks or tongue. If a horse has an unbalanced chewing pattern—often initiated by dental pain or abnormal dental conformation—they may develop waves in the dental arcade, hooks, ramps or ‘tall’ teeth. Using hand rasps and tools to correct such abnormalities is difficult bordering on impossible. In addition, it’s a real challenge physically. The PowerFloat allows you to place the disc on the abnormal part of the tooth and grind it down to the appropriate size and shape with a squeeze of the drill trigger. It has made a difficult job much, much easier.  Most horses need dentistry once or twice a year to reshape the teeth and correct dental imbalances,
allowing them to chew and grind food comfortably and completely. This maximises the energy uptake from what they are eating.

What’s not so good It’s important to have training from a specialised veterinary dentist before using this tool. In inexperienced hands, grinding off too much of the tooth can expose the nerve and the root canal which can lead to tooth death. There is also some heat generated during the grinding process, so overuse in one area for an extended period can cause thermal trauma to a tooth.

Where did you get it Equine Veterinary & Dental Services (www.evds.net.au)

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