The (A.D.A.) American Dental Association defines comprehensive oral examination thus – “… an extensive evaluation and the recording of all extraoral, intraoral, and soft tissues.”
The A.D.A. also went ahead to define the periodic oral examination as “… an exam that is done on established patients to determine any changes in dental and health status since a previous comprehensive or periodic evaluation.”
The American Dental Association advises that new dental patient should undergo a comprehensive dental examination during their first visit and established patients have the same at an interval of every 3 years.
A full appointment schedule is required for a comprehensive dental examination, and the below checklist gives a general idea of what to expect in the exam.
- The teeth – Dental examination.
- Bones and gum that support the teeth – Periodontal examination.
- Joints of the jaw – TMJ examination.
- X-rays and several other scans – Radiographic examination.
- Bite analysis – Occlusal examination.
- Tender tissues of the throat, mouth, and neighboring features – Neck and Head Cancer examination.
- How the gums and teeth appear in relation to the face – Aesthetic examination.
- The measurement of the quality and amount of saliva – Salivary Function examination.
A comprehensive oral examination covers all areas and enables your dentist to have a complete knowledge of the state of your oral health. Some dental procedures must not be carried out unless a comprehensive dental examination is first done. These procedures are:
- Diagnosis of an ailment.
- Surgical implants for the replacement of missing teeth.
- Aesthetic smile enhancements.
- New dentures procurement.
- Improving old dental restorations.