Dental Formula - Horse

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Tooth identifation in the horse- copyright Academy of Equine Dentistry-2008


The formula for deciduous teeth: 2 (I3/3 C0/0 P3/3)

The formula for permanent teeth: 2 (I3/3 C1/1 P3-4/3 M3/3)


The canines are rudimentary and in diastema. The size of the root is proportionally larger than the crown.


Horse tooth - Copyright Malcom Morley

The molars have enlarged surfaces and higher crowns. They have delayed root development and complicated folding of enamel.


Incisors have high crowns and folded enamel surfaces. Their roots converge.


A horse's Wolf tooth (PM1) is often lacking. Molars and Premolars form a continuous surface. Premolars have a high rate of wear and continually erupt. The upper teeth are wider than the lower. There is no infundibulum in the lower teeth.

The teeth from the second premolar caudally are referred to as cheek teeth.


Horses can be aged by their teeth. At 2 and a half the first permanent incisor will erupt; At 3 and a half the second permanent incisor will erupt and at 4 and a half the third permanent incisor will erupt. Over 5 years of age the folding of the enamel ring (infundibulum) can indicate age. There is a 7 year hook and over 13 years of age a dental star will be present.

The Galvayne's Groove is a brown groove on the upper corner incisor teeth and indicates that the horse is over 10 years old. At 15 the groove will be approximately half way down the tooth; At 20 the groove will run down the whole tooth; Over 20 the grove begins to disappear; At 25 the groove will only be visible on the bottom half of the tooth. At 30 the groove will usually be gone.

Dental Formula - Horse Learning Resources
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Anatomy Museum Resources
PowerPoint covering the anatomy and physiology of the equine head and dentition, including the skeletal aspects, the physiology of mastication and it’s associated anatomy as well as common dental abnormalities.

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