If you love horses and taking care of them you might enjoy a career as an equine dentist. Although a relatively new career, professionals have been looking after horses' teeth for thousands of years. A horse's teeth and gums are very important to their overall health. In the past, veterinarians for horses or equine veterinarians looked after and cared for the horse's teeth. Now that many people are specialising in particular fields, equine dentists are becoming more popular. Veterinarians can now focus on the horse without worry about their teeth, because they can refer the owner of the horse to an equine dentist. Become an equine dentist--or equine dental technician--by following these steps.
Work with horses. You will need a background in working with horses to be accepted at most schools for equine dentistry. Find what you can in your local neighbourhood; it might be best to volunteer. You will need to acquire three or more vet or equine dental tech references to apply for schooling. Ask for references of those you work with and get permission before you give out their contact information. If you can get a letter of recommendation, that would be great as well. After you have acquired all of this, you are ready to apply for schooling.
Get educated to become an equine dentist. Study the oral health of horses through a college that teaches people how to become an EDT (Equine Dental Technician). The American School of Equine Dentistry offers courses in this field. They are held in various locations, and you must apply online to take the courses (see Resources below). You are required to complete a detailed registration form online. You will need to include your educational background, horsemanship background, equine dentistry background (if any), three Veterinarian or Equine Dental Technician References, why you want to attend this program, and if you are interested in being placed in an internship after your learning.
Obtain an apprenticeship through the school you went to after completing your education. They can set you up with a professional equine dentist so you can learn as an apprentice. This equine dentist will let you know when you are ready to venture out on your own. Everyone learns at a different pace.
Acquire the proper equipment. Equine dentists need certain equipment in order to look at, treat and do surgeries on horse's mouths. You will need floats, elevators, forceps, cutters, speculums, restraints and power equipment. See the link below in Resources for examples of equine dentistry equipment.
Obtain clients. Through your internship you should be able to gain at least a few clients to get started in your career as an equine dentist. Set up meetings with veterinarians and animal hospitals in your area so you can give them your contact information. A lot of the time horse owners will contact various vets to find a good equine dentist. These vets can refer you and give them your contact information. Send out flyers or visit local farms to hand out your business cards. This will get you started in your equine dentistry career.
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- Keep up to date with horse teeth and gum care.