On your first visit to our office, a comprehensive dental exam checkup is in order. The American Dental Association defines it as an extensive evaluation and the recording of all extra-oral, intraoral, and soft tissues. Putting the jargon aside, it simply means that we will thoroughly check on the state of your teeth, your gums, and just about every other area in your mouth.
The point of having such a comprehensive dental exam is to give us a complete and accurate picture of the state of your oral health. We can then identify trouble spots so we can treat them, and pinpoint potential troubles that can be easily prevented. Afterwards, we will schedule regular checkups.
So what exactly does such a comprehensive dental checkup involve? It entails the following steps and procedures:
- We check your teeth, obviously. We take note which ones are healthy, and which ones need fillings and other types of support.
- We perform what we call an occlusal exam, which is basically an analysis of your bite.
- We perform a periodontal exam, which is the technical term for when we check out the gums and bone that support your teeth.
- There’s the TMJ exam, which entails a closer look at the joints of your jaw.
- Then there’s what’s called a saliva function exam, as the saliva actually has several important functions in your mouth. It even helps protect your teeth and affects your oral health as well.
- We take a radiographic exam, which means we have several X-rays and other types of scans.
- Finally, we also take a very good look with the esthetic exam, with particular emphasis as to how your face looks in relation to your teeth and gums. It’s no secret that a great-looking smile helps to make you look better, and looking better does a lot for your quality of life.
Once we have the data from all these tests, we can then solve any current dental problems in place and put in preventive measures from keeping new problems from emerging.
We can help make sure that your oral health is as good as it can be, with solutions such as teeth whitening and braces. We can update older dental restorations, or put in new implants to substitute for missing teeth. For some, dentures may also be a viable solution. But all these dental solutions cannot be implemented properly without a comprehensive dental exam as the foundation of our doctors’ knowledge about the state of your oral health.