On May 30, 2011, the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate both signed House Bill 414, which affects the practice of equine dentistry in Texas.  Absent a veto by Governor Perry, the bill will become law, effective September 1, 2011. The law, if approved by the Governor, will be codified in Section 801 of the Texas Occupations Code.

The new law will create licensing requirements for non-veterinarian equine dentists practicing in Texas. The law will carve out specific areas of equine dentistry that may be practiced by licensed non-veterinarians, and will give the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners authority to regulate non-veterinarian equine dentists.

Once the law takes effect, a person may not perform equine dentistry or offer or attempt to act as an equine dental provider unless the person is either a veterinarian or a “licensed equine dental provider” who is active and in good standing, performing under the supervision of a veterinarian who is active and in good standing.


Individuals will be prohibited from representing to the public that they are authorized to perform equine dentistry and may not use the title “dentist.” Licensed Equine Dental Providers may use the title “CEDP” upon licensure or “EDP” if they are licensed under the Grandfather clause before September 2013.


Under the new law, a licensed equine dental provider may legally provide only the following services, under the general supervision of a licensed veterinarian:


(1) removing sharp enamel points;

(2) removing small dental overgrowths;

(3) rostral profiling of the first cheek teeth;

(4) reducing incisors;

(5) extracting loose, deciduous teeth;

(6) removing supragingival calculus;

(7) extracting loose, mobile, or diseased teeth or dental fragments with minimal periodontal attachments by hand and without the use of an elevator; and

(8) removing erupted, non-displaced wolf teeth.


When providing the sanctioned activities described above, licensed equine dental providers will be held to the same standard of care as a veterinarian under the new law.


This new law will create, for the first time, a detailed definition of what constitutes “equine dentistry” in Texas.


The new law will not change any of the current laws related to the use of prescription drugs, such as the sedatives commonly used in teeth floating procedures. HB 414 has no impact on any other procedures that are often carried out by non-veterinarians, such as chiropractic care, farriery, acupuncture and reproduction-related practices.


For more information, see the press release issued today by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the summary of HB 414 issued by the American Association of Equine Practitioners.