A comprehensive dental exam is required for all new patients and at least every three to five years for current patients according to the American Dental Association (ADA). The purpose of this exam is to find out what is healthy and what is not and examine the overall condition of the patients’ oral health. Dental disease is very predictable with so much of it being very preventable.
The actual exam normally consists of eight or more separate but interconnected exams that check conditions pertaining to:
Gums and bones supporting the teeth
Soft mouth tissue, throat and surrounding areas
Head & Neck
Saliva quality and quantity
Appearance of teeth and Gums
Charting teeth, restoration & decay
Impressions/molds of teeth for analysis
A comprehensive exam by definition means that the dentist will know everything about the patients’ oral health. Sometimes a specialist may have to be involved to complete the exam. This is never a problem because the total of all of the diagnostic steps taken in the beginning will result in the optimum treatment for the patient in the long run. This knowledge is critical since the mouth is really a window to your body. A comprehensive exam can detect medical conditions before symptoms show up elsewhere in your body.
Some examples of diseases that will present them selves in your mouth include:
Gum and Bone Disease
Systemic Disorders (Leukemia)