The aim of the examination.
Primarily, the aim of the examination is to identify if the horse is comfortable in the mouth and if not, address those issues immediately.
Horses are programmed to disguise dental pain, only occasionally showing symptoms when they cannot find an area of the mouth to eat comfortably. Symptoms include drooling of saliva, balling of hay (quidding), slow eating, dunking hay in water, head tilting or resistance/no contact on the bit but more commonly there are no symptoms at all.
Since we cannot rely on the horse to inform us of dental pain, it is vital that a regular, thorough dental examination is performed for the early detection and treatment of any significant findings.