New bill would define teeth floating in Texas


A new bill in Texas could bring to an end to the debate over equine dentistry.

Austin, Texas

-- A new bill in Texas could bring to an end to the debate over equine dentistry.

Senate Bill 895 would clearly define equine dental care as “the practice of equine dentistry that consists only of teeth floating.” Equine dental care providers, under the new law, could be non-DVMs who have earned certificates to practice equine dental care. Four hours of continuing education will be required annually to renew certifications for equine dental care providers.

The practice of equine dentistry would include “diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a wound, injury, disease, or other condition that affects any portion of an animal’s mouth, jaw, teeth gums or related tissue,” according to legislation.

“Tooth floating” is defined in the legislation as the performance of an equine dental procedure, without sedatives, tranquilizers or other prescription anesthetics, to remove dental points or smooth and level incisors or dental arcades.

The goal of the bill is to “ensure that the practice of equine dentistry other than tooth floating, is performed only by a veterinarian or certified equine dental care provider,” according to legislation.

Texas veterinarians and state regulators have long wrangled with equine teeth floaters and others in the equine industry over dentistry procedures.

Lawsuits and court battles over equine dentistry in Texas are not rare, and the root of the veterinarian’s case against non-DVM dentistry procedures is the use of sedation by non-DVMs.

The bill was introduced Feb. 23 and referred to the agriculture and rural affairs committee March 1. House Bill 1802 and Senate Bill 1032 are similar proposals that also would allow certified equine dental care providers to perform teeth floating and other dentistry procedures under supervision.

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