“U” Shaped Incisor

Case History

A 21-year-old mare brought to the wet lab was in good condition for her age. The owner told us that she had some arthritic problems and had been in a trailer accident at 2 years of age.


The molar arcades had very basic problems, with small ramps, some transverse ridging,and a small wave, but not bad at all for a 21-year-old. However, the incisors were especially interesting.  The horse was missing a normal permanent 202 and the incisors in that area were shifted to the near side.  The shift was caused by the lack of pressure from the missing 202. In place of the 202, the horse had an odd looking “U” shaped incisor tooth.


After balancing the mouth, the decision was made to extract the “U” shaped incisor.  The tooth was packing feed as seen in the figures above, and this tooth was out of alignment. The extraction turned out to be a little bit tricky, because we wanted to keep the tooth in one piece. In the end, the incisor came out nicely in one piece. After an angle change and  incisor reduction, all incisors were in contact.


Thinking back on the horse’s history, having been in a trailer accident at 2 years of age, this would fit the time frame when the permanent 202 would have been developing. Possibly in that accident the permanent 202 was damaged, preventing the tooth from developing properly. Although we cannot be 100% sure of the cause, this horse certainly had a very unique looking incisor.

By B.W. Fletcher, DVM