At Smiles by Design, we take the time to be as thorough as possible when performing an oral exam. We believe that our new patients benefit from spending more time with their dentist, rather than simply shuffling them in and out of the exam chair. A comprehensive dental exam is a complete evaluation of the condition of your teeth, mouth and jaw.
A comprehensive dental exam consists of several parts. Here is what you can expect:
Introduction and Medical History – Our dentist will meet you in the waiting area, introduce himself, and ask a few questions about yourself and the nature of your visit. He will then review your medical history, and take your pulse and blood pressure.
Head and Neck Exam – After establishing your medical history, we perform a head and neck exam by feeling the neck to note any enlarged lymph nodes or suspicious bumps that could be a sign of cancer. We also examine the patient’s jaw and bite for TMJ or other joint-related issues.
Oral Soft Tissue – Next we check the soft tissue of your mouth, including the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, tonsils, and roof of the mouth to check for oral diseases.
Periodontal (Gum) Exam – Periodontal probing consists of sticking a small instrument between the teeth and all around gums to determine the health of the patient’s gums. We measure the space between the gums and the teeth to determine if they are receding, a condition that can lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Hard Tissue (Teeth) Exam – This is where we look at your teeth from every angle, noting the placement and integrity of existing fillings, crowns, implants, cavities, root canals, fractures, or problems with the bite. Depending on your dental health, x-rays may be ordered to diagnose problems in and around the teeth. We will also make dental impressions to examine the patient’s bite.
Planning Treatment - After all of the different components of the exam, we will create a treatment plan outlining all of the dental work we recommend to improve or protect your dental health.