Comprehensive Exams

The American Dental Association (A.D.A.) defines a comprehensive oral examination thus – “… an extensive evaluation and the recording of all extraoral, intraoral and soft tissues.”

The A.D.A. also went ahead to define a periodic oral examination thus “… an exam that is done on established patients to determine any changes in dental and health status since a previous comprehensive or periodic evaluation.”

The recommendation of the A.D.A. is that new dental patients should undergo total dental examination during their first appointment, while previous patients should have the same examination once in 3 years.  The whole duration of an appointment schedule is required for a comprehensive dental examination, and the below checklist gives a general idea of what to expect in the exam.

  • Dental examination – The teeth
  • Periodontal examination – Bones and gum that support the teeth
  • TMJ examination – Joints of the jaw.
  • Radiographic examination – X-rays and several other scans
  • Occlusal examination – Chew analysis
  • Neck and Head Cancer examination – Tender tissues of the throat, mouth, and neighboring features.
  • Aesthetic examination – How the gums and teeth appear in relation to the face
  • Salivary Function examination – The measurement of the quality and amount of saliva

This thorough examination aims to cover all bases. It enables your dentist to have a complete knowledge of the state of your oral health. Your dentist will not undertake certain dental procedures without first carrying out a comprehensive dental examination. These procedures include:

  • Surgical implants for the replacement of lost teeth.
  • Aesthetic smile enhancements
  • New dentures procurement
  • Diagnosis of an illness
  • Improving old dental restorations