Equine-Specific Dental Terminology

Topics Available:

Equine Dental Anatomy
Equine Dental Abnormalities and Procedures
Equine Tooth Extracton

Return to Nomenclature Introduction

Some items may also be useful in other species.

Abbreviations to be used in case logs are shown in (blue brackets)



Equine Dental Anatomical Structures

Infundibulum (INF):
Enamel cup-like infolding from the occlusal surface in incisors (one) and maxillary cheek teeth (two)

Diastema (D): Space between teeth in a jaw.

Pulp horn (PH): An elongation of the pulp chamber extending towards the cusps of brachyodont teeth; an elongation of the common pulp chamber extending towards the occlusal surface of equine cheek teeth (numbers refer to the Du Toit numbering system, e.g., PH1, PH2, etc.).

Regular secondary dentin: Dentin produced on the periphery of the pulp after the tooth has come into occlusion which gradually reduces the size of the pulp horns

Irregular secondary dentin: Physiological dentin that is laid down last, sub-occlusally in the center of the pulp horn which prevents pulp exposure with normal tooth wear

Sinus (SIN): Paranasal cavity within a bone

Conchofrontal sinus (SIN/CF): Compound term for the frontal sinus and the dorsal conchal sinus, which are continuous in equines

Caudal maxillary sinus (SIN/CMX): Cavity in equines separated by the maxillary septum from the rostral maxillary sinus; communicating with the frontal and sphenopalatine sinuses

Rostral maxillary sinus (SIN/RMX): Cavity in equines separated by the maxillary septum from the caudal maxillary sinus; opening freely into the ventral conchal sinus

Sphenopalatine sinus (SIN/SP): Continued cavity formed by the sphenoid and palatine sinuses in equines; opening into the caudal maxillary sinus

Ventral conchal sinus (SIN/VC): Cavity enclosed by the caudal part of the ventral concha.


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Equine Dental Abnormalities and Procedures


Tooth elongation (T/EL): Abnormal intraoral and/or periapical extension of the coronal and/or apical portion of the tooth

Open diastema (D/O): Pathological widening of the interproximal space that has similar widths at the gingival margin and occlusal surface

Valve diastema (D/V): Pathological widening of the interproximal space that is considerably wider at the gingival margin than at the occlusal surface

Temporal teratoma (TT): Vestigial dental structure in the vicinity of the temporal bone as a result of failure of closure of the first branchial cleft usually associated with swelling or a sinus tract at the base of the pinna of the ear; also known as heterotopic polyodontia or “ear tooth” and erroneously called dentigerous cyst in the horse

Pulp horn defect (PH/D): Pulp horn exposure or defective secondary dentin overlying a pulp horn noted on the occlusal surface of cheek teeth which may or may not be vital

Infundibular caries (CA/INF): Caries of the maxillary cheek teeth infundibulae; grade 1 involving cementum only; grade 2 also involving enamel; grade 3 also involving dentin; grade 4 affecting the structural integrity of the tooth; use CA/INF/D for distal infundibular caries and CA/INF/M for mesial infundibular caries

Peripheral caries (CA/PER): - Caries affecting the periphery of the cheek teeth; grade 1 involving cementum only; grade 2 also involving enamel; grade 3 also involving dentin; grade 4 affecting the structural integrity of the tooth

Shear mouth (SHE): Abnormally increased occlusal angulation of the cheek teeth; for example >40° for mandibular cheek teeth and >25° for maxillary cheek teeth

Sinusitis (SIN/IN): Inflammation of the sinus (e.g. SIN/IN/RMX = rostral maxillary sinusitis)

Primary sinusitis: Inflammation of the sinus associated with bacterial infection of the sinuses without any detectable predisposing cause.

Secondary sinusitis: Inflammation of the sinus associated with bacterial infection where a predisposing cause such as periapical disease or intra-sinus growth is present

Dental sinusitis: Sinusitis caused by periapical disease of the caudal cheek teeth

Diastema odontoplasty (or widening) (D/ODY): Removal of interproximal dental tissue to avoid entrapment of food between teeth

Sinoscopy (SIN/EN): Endoscopic examination of the sinus using a trephine portal

Sinus flap (SIN/F): Surgical access to the sinus via a skin and bone flap; use SIN/CF/F for a chonchofrontal sinus flap and SIN/MX/F for a maxillary sinus flap

Sinus lavage (SIN/LAV): Flushing of the sinus


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Equine Tooth Extraction and Related Procedures


Trephination (TRP): Surgical access to a structure of interest via skin incision and removal of a circular piece of bone using a trephine

Sinus trephination (SIN/TRP): Access to the sinus via a trephined hole

Closed extraction with odontoplasty (XS/ODY): Removal of interproximal crown tissue to facilitate transoral extraction of a tooth

Extraction of a tooth after apicoectomy and repulsion (XSS/APX/RPL): Extraction of a tooth after apicoectomy and repulsion which is performed via TRP, SIN/TRP or SIN/F

Transbuccal extraction (XSS/BUC): Extraction of a tooth after buccotomy

Transbuccal extraction with alveolectomy (XSS/BUC/ALV):
Extraction of a tooth after buccotomy and alveolectomy

Transcommissural extraction (XSS/COM): Extraction of a tooth after commissurotomy

Transcommissural extraction with alveolectomy (XSS/COM/ALV): Extraction of a tooth after commissurotomy and alveolectomy

Minimally invasive buccotomy extraction (XSS/MIB): Extraction of a tooth via minimally invasive buccotomy (small incision made for introduction of straight instrumentation to elevate, section or drill into a cheek tooth for the purpose of facilitating its transoral extraction)

Extraction via repulsion (XSS/RPL): Extraction of a tooth after repulsion which is performed via TRP, SIN/TRP or SIN/F

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