Just as each horse is an individual, each case is different.  In my experience, not all horses will display obvious signs of discomfort when they need dental attention.

Keeping everything stress free for both owner and horse is the main aim of the session. Many owners who are new to dentistry can feel anxious about what it involves but be assured most horses don't even bat an eyelid. Treatment usually takes 30 - 45 minutes but I allow plenty of time per patient so I can give them my full attention in a calm and relaxed manner.  have been able to treat many horses who previously had to be sedated for dental work.  This in turn lowers the cost for the owner, as it reduces the expense of calling a veterinary surgeon out to sedate. 

During a visit I 
  • assess the horse as a whole for general health and wellbeing
  • examine the head externally for any lumps, bumps or unusual features
  • examine the mouth visually and by hand, checking the incisors, canines and bars or the mouth
  • Fit the gag and examine the oral cavity both visually with a torch and by hand to identify malocclusions, dental disease and any abnormal dentition.  
  • Discuss my findings and treatment plan with the owner/handler
  • Provide rasping/filing to create dental balance and symmetry using a wide range of equipment
  • Provide the client with an individual dental chart identifying malocclusions and work performed as well as a future action plan.  
By personal choice, I primarily use hand tools for routine work and power tools for major overgrowths .  All I ask is for fresh water (cold is fine!) and a lit area to work in. 

I treat all of my patients with the exact same high standard regardless of their use or performance status.  I treat Shetlands and donkeys right up to shire horses, broodmares and companion/retired ponies/horses up to international competition ponies/horses.    I recommend that all horses should be initially checked around their first birthday and then routinely every 6 months, from the age of 2 years.