BAEDT Performance Guidelines

Our performance guidelines are here to provide a STANDARD OF PRACTICE for BAEDT members, so that it may serve as a benchmark of our achievements in our daily practice of equine dentistry.

Members will strive to successfully complete all dental procedures according to the following description whenever possible using their best judgment, skill and knowledge:

  • Dental procedures are to be carried out with the utmost humane consideration for the horse, with the intent to enhance their future health, comfort and well being

  • Every attempt should be made to avoid injury to the horse during dental procedures

  • Consulting with other EDT’s and Veterinarians is desirable and is encouraged.

  • If unable to complete the necessary procedures, the owner should be informed of the need for further work

  • Members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner


Click here for more information on the courses, training, standards within the industry and other information relating to the practice of Equine Dentistry.



Currently in Great Britain, a wide variety of people perform equine dental procedures. Some may be well trained and appropriately qualified Equine Dental Technicians, some may be Veterinary Surgeons, some are both, and some may be very inexperienced people who have had minimal training, but nevertheless perform very advanced dental procedures, sometimes damaging equine teeth. On some occasions they cause serious, even life-threatening injuries to horses’ jaws, mouths and throats. Other people (sometimes referred to as ‘tooth raspers’ because that is basically all they are legally allowed to do in the UK) just perform simple Category 1 procedures such as rasping off small dental overgrowths.

Category 1 Equine Dental Procedures:

These procedures may be carried out by anyone, irrespective of whether they have undertaken any training or have any qualifications. 

  • Examination of teeth

  • Removal of sharp enamel points using manual (hand) floats only

  • Removal of small dental overgrowths (maximum 4mm reductions) using manual rasps only

  • Removal of loose deciduous caps

  • Rostral profiling of the first cheek teeth (maximum 4mm reductions), previously termed ‘bit seat shaping’

  • Removal of supragingival calculus

A further group of procedures has been deemed suitable to be performed by Equine Dental Technicians that have passed a Defra approved examination such as the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) / British Veterinary Dental Association (BVDA) exam. (In order to join the BAEDT, this exam must be passed). At the present time, the BAEDT is the only association for equine dental technicians that the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) endorses, and encourages its members to support. These further procedures are designated as Category 2 procedures and are listed below:

Category 2 Equine Dental Procedures:

These are additional procedures that are suitable for delegation to an EDT who has trained and passed an examination approved by DEFRA: 

  • Examination, evaluation and recording of dental abnormalities

  • The extraction of teeth or dental fragments with negligible periodontal attachment.

  • The removal of erupted, non-displaced wolf teeth in the upper or lower jaw under direct and continuous veterinary supervision

  • Palliative rasping of fractured and adjacent teeth

  • The use of motorised dental instruments where these are used to reduce dental overgrowths and remove sharp enamel points only. Horses should be sedated unless it is deemed safe to undertake any proposed procedure without sedation, with full informed consent of the owner. 

Further details are available from the BEVA headquarters: Web. Phone. 01638 723555


Frequently Asked Questions

A few of the most frequently asked questions about the practice of Equine Dentistry are detailed below. Please contact us if you think we should add something to this list.

Dental related questions:

What are the signs that my horse needs dental attention?

  • Your horse starts to change their eating habits.

  • The horse may dribble feed, wash feed in the water bucket, hold the head to the side or not eat at all.

  • It’s breath might be unpleasant and may have a swollen face.

  • The horse may roll the hay into a ball and drop it on the ground, this is quidding.

  • Please be aware that there may be no obvious signs of dental disease and hence regular treatment and check up is advised.

How often does my horse or pony need dental check ups?

Dental care should start as a yearling to remove sharp edges and identify any future problems.

After the first visit your Equine Dental Technician will recommend an individual dental maintenance plan of usually 6 monthly or 9 monthly; your EDT will advise you accordingly.

Why do Equines’ teeth become sharp?

The upper jaw is wider than the lower jaw (anisognathism) and chewing occurs in a mostly sideways-circular motion. This can lead to sharp edges on the outside of the upper cheek teeth and the inside edges of the lower cheek teeth. Horses diets have changed over the years becoming more and more processed and this may exacerbate and accelerate dental problems.

Training and Examination questions:

I am interested in taking the BEVA / BVDA exam. How do I obtain a place and what are the requirements for this exam?

  • EDTs require two references, one of which must be from an MRCVS.

  • A case log (dental charts) of 300 dental cases. These dental charts will have to include 40 cases of more advanced dental procedures taking place under sedation and signed by a vet. (BEVA reserve the right to contact clients or veterinary surgeons involved in each individual case study to verify the work carried out by the candidate). Photographic evidence would be welcome in the portfolio although not essential. (N.B At least 50% of the dental charts will need to be of procedures performed in the UK, including 50% of advanced cases.)

  • The candidate must also spend a minimum of five full days working under supervision with an EDT who has passed the BEVA/BVDA EDT exam or with a vet who performs a high amount of equine dental work. (A time period will be specified in which the days will need to have been spent. Usually the time period is 6 to 9 months before sitting the exam). The EDT or vet will then be independently asked to sign a form confirming that the candidate is ready to sit this examination. If the EDT or vet does not think the candidate is ready to sit the examination the candidate will be asked to defer sitting the exam at that time.

  • The examiners feel that it is very important that candidates do not sit this examination until they have appropriate training and experience to give them the very best chance of passing at the first attempt.

  • Candidates must attend the 2-day BEVA/BVDA advanced theoretical EDT course. The course teaches advanced dental anatomy, equine nutrition, dental disorders and treatments, microbiology, disinfection, health and safety and current legislation in Britain today. It does not give any of the training in the practical skills which must be attained to a very high level if this examination is to be passed.

  • Candidates are strongly advised to attend the pre examination training course which is run over a weekend. This is a superb opportunity for prospective candidates to get practical experience of working under exam conditions, whilst gaining tuition from BEVA / BAEDT qualified members & BEVA examiners in preparation for the exam.

For further details Contact Us or visit the BEVA website


All BAEDT members work to provide equine dental services to a high professional standard, however, if something goes wrong, all complaints are investigated under our complaint’s procedure.

The BAEDT recognise that individual cases must be decided on their own merits and facts, hence the requirement to complete the complaints form with as much detail as possible.

The BAEDT jurisdiction is limited to complaints which, if proved, allow the BAEDT to impose penalties with regards to the member’s BAEDT membership, this may be asking the member to complete further training, issuing warnings or in the most severe cases expulsion from the Association.

It must be made clear that the BAEDT does not have any jurisdiction to prevent a member from practising equine dentistry in the United Kingdom.

Complaints that are, in effect, allegations of negligence and severe animal welfare are a matter for the legal courts for which you would need to make against the Equine Dental Technician directly.

A complaint about an incident involving poor standards of workmanship that is more than six weeks old will generally be considered out of time and will not be investigated.

You are required to complete all sections of this complaint form before the BAEDT will accept your complaint to be dealt with.

If you would like to make a complaint, please complete the form below and return it to us either via email: or by post to: BAEDT, West Lodge, Low Common, Bunwell, Norfolk, NR16 1TG

Download BAEDT Complaints form in Word format here
Download BAEDT Complaints form in PDF format



If you have a general enquiry or question please email  BAEDT Secretary Tanya: or call 07876 520662

Postal address:
BAEDT, West Lodge, Low Common, Bunwell, Norfolk, NR16 1TG.

Members of BAEDT Council can be contacted directly on email as follows:

Chairman James Arkley

Finance Adrian Thorne

CPD Curtis Thompson

Student Liaisons Bee May and James Evans

Complaints Martin Walls

PR and Marketing Tom Grantham

Alternatively complete the form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

© British Association of Equine Dental Technicians