Radiographic evaluation in clinical practice of the types and stage of incisor tooth resorption and hypercementosis in horses

T. J. Henry, S. M. Puchalski, B. Arzi, P. H. Kass, F. J M Verstraete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: There are several reports of incisor tooth resorption and hypercementosis in horses but, to date, studies have been limited in case numbers and to advanced lesions. Tooth resorption in other species is a radiographic diagnosis of types of resorption that are often identified before clinical signs. Our goal was to evaluate radiographically incisor tooth resorption in a large population of horses, utilising interpretation criteria from canine and human dentistry. Objective: To document and classify incisor tooth resorption and hypercementosis. Study design: Retrospective descriptive case series. Methods: Horses presented for routine dental care >5 years old were included only if owners were unaware of incisor pathology. Radiographs (three views) were obtained of the incisor teeth and incisor teeth resorption was classified according to the radiographic criteria described for man and dogs. Hypercementosis and its location were recorded. Results: Tooth resorption was detected in 149 of 169 (88.2%) horses and 951 of 1952 (48.7%) of incisor teeth. The classification system used was applicable in 926 (97.2%) of 951 affected teeth. Hypercementosis was detected in 34 (20.1%) horses and 148 (7.6%) teeth. As horses increased in age, resorption and hypercementosis was more frequent; no significant differences were found among sex or breed categories. All horses with hypercementosis had resorption, but only 23.4% of horses with resorption had hypercementosis. Advanced (stage ≥3) resorption was detected in 159 (8.1%) teeth and 54 (32.0%) horses in an otherwise clinically healthy population. Main limitations: Certain horses' anatomy precluded isolation of the mandibular third incisor teeth from the canine teeth due to superimposition. Conclusions: Incisor tooth resorption, in particular external replacement resorption and external inflammatory resorption, is common in horses. Hypercementosis is consistently associated with resorption, but the inverse association is inconsistent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEquine Veterinary Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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