Before starting any dental treatment, the dental practitioner will undertake an assessment of the whole mouth. While the front teeth (the incisors) are easy to examine, it is, more often than not, the grinding cheek teeth at the back of the mouth which develop problems. To perform a thorough examination, the practitioner will therefore need to use a speculum, or ‘gag’, to open the horses mouth.
Once the gag is expanded, the teeth are examined both manually and visually. The teeth at the back of the mouth will always be assessed, as this is where problems often develop. Due to the teeth’s inaccessibility they can be overlooked.