Oral Examination

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By Dr. Matthew Weekes
September 10th, 2014 Edition

There are basically three types of examination done by the dentist.

1. Emergency exam
2. Specific exam
3. Complete exam

All require the patient to complete a medical history questionnaire before the examination begins.

The emergency examination focuses on the area of the mouth that is paining or where trauma or injury to the tissues has occurred. The main goal is to relieve the patient of pain as quickly as possible and provide treatment to stabilize the condition and then schedule follow up treatments if required.

The specific examination is in response to a specific problem that is the chief concern of the patient. This area is investigated thoroughly in order to make a diagnosis. The findings are discussed with the patient and the different treatment options offered. After the patient consent, the dentist then proceeds with the treatment.

The complete examination is a comprehensive examination of a patient that requests an evaluation of their oral cavity. Patients who are new to the dental office and have not had their teeth checked for a long time, and are motivated to receive the best possible care welcome this initial experience. This visit is an opportunity to find out what is going on in the patient’s mouth and how dental health can be improved. It is a time to discuss how lost teeth can be replaced, the correction of crooked teeth and other concerns.

However before questions can be answered it is necessary to have x-rays taken and a clinical exam done in order to discuss the findings.

The exam may include an examination of the head, neck, lymph nodes and skin. The joints between the jaws are examined (TMJ). The extent of opening and closing the mouth fully and pain free is determined. Structures inside the mouth including tongue, tonsils, cheeks, floor of mouth, teeth, bone, gums, and throat are examined. Also thorough examination may detect lesions which may indicate early to advanced stages of cancer. Harmful habits such as clenching grinding of teeth or tongue thrust may be detected. The presence of advanced periodontal disease, cavities and abnormalities will be brought to the attention of the patient. At the end of the examination a treatment plan would be presented to the patient and payment options discussed.

Well informed patients tend to achieve the best treatment results. We are always happy to partner with you in your pursuit of improved dental health.

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