Comprehensive Exams

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It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) that new patients undergo a comprehensive dental exam when they first visit their new dentist. Existing patients should have this exam every three years.

Comprehensive oral exams are defined by the ADA as “… an extensive evaluation and the recording of all extraoral, intraoral and soft tissues”.

Periodic oral exams are defined by the ADA 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”.

Undergoing a comprehensive dental exam takes a whole appointment. Here is an overview of what is generally included in a comprehensive oral exam:

● Dental Exam (checking the teeth)

● Occlusal Exam (bite analysis)

● Radiographic Exam (x-rays and other scans)

● Periodontal Exam (bones and gums supporting the teeth)

● Neck and Head Cancer Exam (the soft tissue of throat, mouth and surrounding areas)

● Temporomandibular Joint Exam (checking the jaw joints)

● Salivary Exam (the quality and quantity of saliva)

● Aesthetic Exam (the appearance of gums and teeth in relation to the face).

Your dentist is aware of everything there is to know about a comprehensive oral exam and will ensure that everything is covered in the examination. Your dentist will learn everything there is to know about your oral health.

It is recommended to undergo a comprehensive oral exam before certain procedures, such as:

● Tooth implants

● Aesthetic changes to your smile

● Old dental restoration updates

● Medical or disease problems

● New dentures.

“Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond”

― Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605

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