History of Equine Dentistry
Equine Dentistry is an ancient profession. It has always fallen under the umbrella of Equine Surgery and Medicine. Vehicles and carts were in use during the Bronze Age dating back to c. 3000 B.C. The earliest medically related studies are about laminitis, as horses were highly prized and extremely important in work, war, and transportation. The earliest written mention of Equine teeth goes back to Xenophon in 444 B.C. Aging of horses for sale and deception in the process were probably the emphasis during the ancient years.
Actual modification and care of the equine teeth became important in the late 1700’s . Equine dentistry instruments showed up in Europe about 1820. The period from 1820- 1939 (World War II) was a period of development of Equine Dentistry. Unfortunately, much of that was lost after WW2 , as the internal combustion engine replaced took over as the main source of power. The horse went from necessary to a pet or hobby endeavor. Those who were skilled in equine dentistry were replaced by mechanics.
Around 1965 Equine Dentistry had a rebirth, as horses started a comeback in sports and pleasure. As the horse population has grown to about 10,000,000 in the US alone, equine dentistry has grown and good EqDTs are in high demand.
The Birth of MEDA -Midwest Equine Dental Academy
In 2002 within a two month period two individuals asked Dr. Hildebrand if he could teach them Equine Dentistry. His response was “no” initially as practice was keeping Dr Hildebrand quite busy. Upon further thought, the horse business slowed every year in December and didn’t pick back up until April.
So the first class began in January three mornings a week. By mid March the first two students graduated and we were off and running. Since that year we have produced quality, well educated Equine Dental Technicians across most of the United States and throughout 12 countries.
M.E.D.A. is a boutique academy that offers a very specialized 'hands on' approach with smaller classes. Our students enjoy a huge advantage after taking our courses.
We have never aimed for quantity of students, but have focused on turning out the most dedicated and skilled EqDTs in the industry.