A ‘comprehensive oral exam’ involves the extensive evaluation that involves recording all intraoral, extraoral, and soft tissues.
A ‘periodic oral exam’ is an exam done on established patients to determine changes in dental and health status since a previous periodic or comprehensive evaluation.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that existing patients undergo a comprehensive exam every 3 years and new patients have a comprehensive dental exam on their first visit.
A comprehensive dental exam requires one complete appointment and includes the following:
Areas to check:
- Periodontal exam
- Dental Exam (teeth)
- Occlusal Exam (Bite analysis)
- Radiographic Exam (x-rays and various scans)
- Head and Neck Cancer Exam (soft tissues of mouth, throat and surrounding structures)
- TMJ Exam (jaw joints)
- Esthetic Exam (appearance of teeth and gums related to the face)
A comprehensive dental exam ensures your dentist knows everything about your oral health and recommends undergoing this exam before the following procedures:
- Implants to replace lost teeth
- Esthetic changes to your smile
- Been diagnosed with a medical problem or disease
- New dentures
- Updating old dental restorations