I focus on form and function with the dentistry that I promote in my practice.  This means bringing the horse to a centered position where there are no interferences in the mouth that prevent lateral excursion as well allowing a full range of anterior and posterior movement.
Evaluating the mouth involves checking for sharp points and also looks at the range of motion that the horse has in its mandible. Interference in the mouth, be it uneven wear, excessive length on the incisors, or a molar that has more length than its neighbors, can effect the entire body.  This is especially true in high level performance horses. An imbalance in the mouth can cause increased pressure on the tempomandibular joint (TMJ). When the TMJ is compromised the bodies proproceptive responses are also compromised.

Proprioception is believed to be composed of information from sensory neurons located in the inner ear (motion and orientation) and in the stretch receptors located in the muscles and the joint-supporting ligaments (stance). There are specific nerve receptors for this form of perception termed "proprioreceptors," just as there are specific receptors for pressure, light, temperature, sound, and other sensory experiences. Proprioception is what allows someone to learn to walk in complete darkness without losing their balance. People experience loss of proprioception when too much alcohol is imbibed.

The TMJ is greatly involved in proprioception. When the mouth is out of balance, the horse is unable to maintain his space in his surrounding universe and then has to compensate elsewhere.  Many times we have seen horses develop functional lameness related to this out of balance.  These are not lameness’s that can be blocked out by your regular veterinarian, these lameness’s are related directly back to the loss of proprioception and when the mouth is corrected we see a return to normal function in a very short time. When the TMJ is balanced and symmetrical from side to side the horse can maintain optimal body posture and muscle mass.

Correcting the mouth is vital to accomplish prior to performing any bodywork, as the root cause of the dysfunction in the mouth must be addressed first.  I work closely with Phil Ratliff and have seen many amazing changes take place in a horse’s physical, mental and emotional well being using his quiet, low stress minimally invasive techniques. 
Bit seats have been suggested for a number of years to prevent the tissue in the mouth from being pinched between the bit and the first premolars.  Unfortunately, when a bit seat is placed in these first premolars much of the tooth is drilled away.  This undermines the integrity of the tooth structure and also removes a large portion of the tooth surface that the horse needs to grind the hay it needs to maintain its health.  Additionally, the loss of tooth material affects the horse’s anterior guidance in mouth and maintaining stability of the TMJ. equine dentist

Additionally, precision in dental work is vital due to the need for the angle and pitch of the lower most rear teeth to match the angle of the lower first premolars.   These also have to follow the horse’s own mandibular curve, also known as curvature of spee.  This will allow uniform TMJ pressure to be maintained with both anterior and posterior movement of the mandible.
Power floating, in my experience, leads to major body malfunction due to loss of tooth surface, overheating the teeth and loss of correct table angle.  Many of the horses that I have evaluated that have been power floated have loss of molar eruption and may have excessive incisor eruption.  This causes a “bridging” effect that prevents molar contact.  This loss of molar contact has two side effects; one is the inability to grind foodstuffs properly and secondly, causes a loss of proprioception. Due to the lack of remaining tooth root in the mandible and maxilla in older horses, another side effect of power floating is damage to the periodontal ligaments and the premature loss of teeth. Unfortunately, when the mouth is power floated multiple times over several years we are finding the same tooth loss no matter the age of the horse.