A long term study of equine cheek teeth post-extraction complications: 428 cheek teeth (2004-2018)

Rebekah Kennedy, Richard Reardon, Oliver James, C. Wilson , P. M. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Complications, especially delayed alveolar healing are common following equine cheek teeth extraction, however limited objective information is available on the incidence and nature of these problems.
Objectives: To document the type and incidence of complications that occur following equine cheek tooth extraction and to identify possible risk factors for these complications that could be used to predict their occurrence and hopefully reduce their incidence.
Study design: Retrospective cohort study.
Methods: Clinical records of all cheek teeth extractions performed between February 2004 and September 2018 were examined and written questionnaires sent to owners. Details of post-extraction complications were analysed and logistic regression was used to evaluate potential associations between the likelihood of post-extraction non-healing alveolus managed by the authors and the variables: age, breed, reason for extraction, Triadan position and extraction technique.
Results: Post extraction complications were recorded following 58/428 extractions giving an overall complication rate of 13.6%, that caused a longer-term clinical problem in 34/428 (7.9%), with complications being asymptomatic or quickly self-resolving in the other 24 cases (5.6%). The most frequent complication was alveolar bone sequestration, including with alveolar infection. Risk of developing a post-extraction alveolar disorder managed by the authors (n=53) was increased following extraction of the mandibular 06s, 07s or 08s compared to all other cheek teeth combined (P=0.001); for cheek teeth with apical infections (P=0.002) compared to those without; and following repulsion or minimally-invasive transbuccal extraction (MTE) than following oral extraction (P=0.011 and P=0.015 respectively).
Main limitations: Length of time between exodontia and survey data collection for some cases, use of clinical records and survey data, biases associated with decision to treat.
Conclusions: In agreement to previous studies, oral extraction had the lowest risk of complications. This study provides new information regarding the incidence, types and risk
Original languageEnglish
JournalEquine Veterinary Journal
Early online date6 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2020


  • Horse
  • Equine dental
  • cheek teeth extraction problems
  • equine dental extraction


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