Because horses’ teeth never stop growing, they have much different dental needs than people. Equine dental technicians perform basic dental care on horses, floating teeth -- that is, smoothing them or contouring them with a file called a "float" -- and extracting teeth and performing other routine dental procedures to help horses deal with being bridled or other wear on their teeth. Many equine dentists aren’t doctors of veterinary medicine.
The average equine dental technician earns a rather large salary if he can build up a large enough client base. The average horse dentist earns an annual salary that ranges between $69,000 and $76,000, according to Simply Hired. Developing a practice with enough clients to remain busy enough to work full-time, or even financially support oneself, can be a difficult part of working in the field, according to All About Horses’ equine dentist Joel Wengert.
Average Earnings Per Visit
On average, an equine dentist earns between $100 and $150 for each horse he treats. A horse dentist must treat two clients each day on average at $125 per visit to earn a gross income of $70,000. Because many horses are stabled in areas that are far from each other, equine dentists must travel a lot to perform their duties. An area with many stables and horse owners may help an equine dentist avoid long trips between clients and spend more time performing his job, thus allowing for higher incomes.
Salaries Around the Country
In most parts of the country, equine dentists earn large salaries, although those earnings vary by a great degree depending upon the portion of the country in which they practice. Horse dentists in Miami earn the highest average annual salaries in the nation, receiving $142,098, according to Salary Expert. That salary isn’t typical, however, with horse dental technicians in the city with the second-highest wages, New York, receiving $99,680 annually. Equine dentists in Orlando, Florida, earn some of the smallest salaries in the nation, at $63,654 annually.
Although many veterinarians who specialize in large animals perform equine dentistry, many horse dental specialists aren’t veterinarians. Four equine dental academies nationwide offer training for the profession, with training lasting between six and 12 weeks. Typical training covers dental procedures such as floating and capping teeth, equine anatomy and creating bits for clients. For some extensive procedures, clients may need to bring their horse into a veterinarian’s office for extended care.