What is a Comprehensive Oral Exam?
An all-inclusive assessment and recording of all hard and soft, intra, and extraoral tissues is a comprehensive oral exam.
Additionally, a dental checkup or recare exam refers to an examination that is done on current patients. This allows dentists to find out any changes in a person’s health status and dental condition since a previous periodic or comprehensive evaluation.
Some of us know that our mouth serves as the window into the body. In relation to this, dentists can discover different medical conditions through a comprehensive oral exam before symptoms emerge in the body.
Cardiovascular problems, undiagnosed or poorly-controlled diabetes, sinus problems, systemic disorders such as oral cancer, high blood pressure, and immune abnormalities are just some examples.
By performing a comprehensive exam, dental professionals can formulate a strategy for long-term dental and overall health.
What to expect in a comprehensive oral exam?
At Hawaii Family Dental, our comprehensive oral exam consists of processes to ensure our patients get the best care for a healthier smile.
We first gather the patient’s dental and medical history. Moreover, it is essential to record current vitamins, medications, or natural remedies the patient is taking.
Allergies, previous hospitalizations, and surgeries, and any medical conditions are also worthy to note.
Aside from these, it is pivotal to keep a record of negative reactions, previous experiences, or family member reactions to anesthesia.
The patient should also inform the dental professional if he or she frequently smokes or drinks alcohol.
Then, depending on the patient’s needs, a series of X-rays will be necessary. Typically, a full mouth series includes roughly 10 to 18 X-ray photos during a comprehensive oral exam.
A series of X-rays precisely shows each tooth and the structures that support the teeth. This shall help discover abnormalities that one can’t see with the naked eye alone.
Afterward, a manual and visual oral screening of the lymph nodes underneath the neck, chin, and ears will also be performed.
Dental professionals will look for flexibility, tenderness, and pain felt in the nodes. Likewise, the soft and hard palate, the inner and outer parts of the lips, the floor of the mouth, the surfaces of the cheeks, frenums, and behind the molars will all be carefully screened.
More than that, checking for TMJ is also important. A dentist will check the patient for pain in the jaw and joint area, chewing issues, and mouth opening abilities. The patient will also undergo a gingival and periodontal assessment. This comprises of six intense measurements of pocket depths on each tooth.
Here, dentists will measure bone loss and check tooth mobility. This can help pinpoint early indications of gum problems. The dentist can also spot signs of gum recession, bleeding, calculus buildup, and swelling.
Indeed, the patient’s bite will also need evaluation. This may include outlining the teeth that are crowded, crooked, or spaced too far apart or feature an overbite, crossbite, or open bite. The dentist will also record wear of the teeth, decay, impactions, positions of teeth, and a cavity check.
The dentist will then share any valuable findings after the examination. Then, the dental professional can devise a treatment plan consolidating the patient’s urgent, intermediate, and long-term oral requirements.
Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.