Dental care is an integral part of equine veterinary practice. The objectives of this cross sectional study were to describe the prevalence of dental disorders in an abattoir population of horses, and to compare oral examination of intact and bisected heads. Heads from 40 horses, 19 males and 21 females, were examined and divided into immature, adult or older horses based on dental age.Older horses had a significantly higher prevalence of infundibular caries (91.7%), diastemata (66.7%) and fractures (58.3%), whereas dental wear disorders affected all age groups. Gasterophilus spp. larvae were detected in 20% of the horses. A short oral examination performed on intact heads was adequate for diagnosing major disorders, but the occurrence of many conditions had only fair to poor agreement with the bisected heads. A more detailed oral examination may be needed for reliable diagnosis of many disorders.