We are your partner in oral health. When it comes to helping you reach your goals for your mouth, your teeth and your gums, we are here to help you. In order to know where you want to go, we must know where you are today. One of the most important aspects of reaching your goals is our comprehensive oral examination.
Isn't every check-up a comprehensive dental exam? Teeth and gums are poked and prodded at each visit. What else can there be?
Yes, the teeth and gums are checked, but there is so much more that needs to be done. A comprehensive dental examination is a visit by itself and would be too long to perform every time you had a dental appointment. There are so many aspects to be covered, that each dentist will perform a slightly different version. we will give you a general overview of what should be included in a comprehensive exam, but since training and experience vary, there will be deviations. The purpose is to find out what is healthy, what is not healthy and examine each aspect of a patient's oral health closely enough to be able to tell the difference.
In order to make an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan for you, we must know the exact state of your mouth as it is today. It is extremely important to record the appearance of your mouth, healthy or diseased, so that in the event of a change, we can make a proper diagnosis. This baseline record makes it possible to more accurately judge the progress and severity of change that may occur.
The initial oral examination includes inspection of your head, neck, and facial structures and palpation of the lymph nodes of the neck. We examine your temporomandibular joint (jaw joint or TMJ) for proper function. We note the condition of your lips, insides of your cheeks, tongue, glands and gland duct openings, muscle attachments, and hard and soft palates. This all occurs before we even look at your teeth and gums.
When examining your teeth, we chart how many are present and which teeth are missing. We look at tooth alignment and status of decay. In addition, we chart the existing fillings/restorations and record which might be broken or defective and need replacement. If you have replacement teeth present, either partial dentures (which are removable) or fixed crowns, we assess their present condition and function. If you are missing teeth, we begin to determine whether it is in your best dental health interest to consider their replacement.
We also look at the appearance of your teeth, the position of your teeth, ow you look when you smile; in short, how other people see your teeth. We note irregularities in the tooth alignment and discolorations in teeth and fillings/restorations that might detract from your appearance.
At this complete Oral health Examination, We also examine the support for your teeth, the gums and bone. We look at the colour, contour, texture, and consistency of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. We carefully determine whether there is bleeding of the gums. We note any recession of the tissue where the gum tissue has pulled away from its original position against the tooth. We measure and quantify the health of your gums, as we check for increased periodontal pockets around the teeth. The mobility of the teeth is also checked. Signs of gum disease include, but are not limited to, bleeding of the gums spontaneously or when probed, recession of the gums, redness and swelling and mobility of teeth.
To be complete, the examination must also include an evaluation of recent radiographs (x-rays) of diagnostic quality. We can more directly examine the health of the bone that ultimately supports the teeth. We look for impacted teeth, decay that may be present under old fillings or in between teeth, and areas of infection around roots .We will also take intraoral photographs, video pictures.
Using the results of the diagnostic findings and your expressed concerns and goals, we will arrive at a diagnosis of your dental condition. We can then formulate treatment plans with appropriate options that will address all of your wants and needs. Only when this is done will your dental treatment begin.
Research and experience has shown that a comprehensive dental examination and treatment plan will ensure long-lasting dental health and appearance. A long-term plan is more economical over your lifetime, avoids emergencies, loss of teeth and unnecessary discomfort.