What Is an Adult Comprehensive Dental Exam?
A comprehensive dental exam is a major part of preventative dentistry, which focuses on preventing dental problems by taking proper care of teeth and gums. Also known as a complete dental exam, this type of examination takes longer than a routine check-up.
It involves the dentist taking detailed records of the different aspects of the patient’s oral health. These types of dental examinations are typically performed once every three to five years.
What to expect during a comprehensive dental exam
A complete dental examination often starts with the dentist taking photos of the interior and exterior of the patient’s mouth. These photos serve as records of the color of the soft tissues in their mouth and the color of their teeth. The dentist will also examine the patient’s mouth looking for dental issues, and an oral cancer screen will be performed.
Each of the patient’s teeth and the gum tissues around them are thoroughly examined during a comprehensive dental exam. Their rotation, positioning, and condition are recorded. The bone tissues keeping the tooth in place are also examined for any defects. Signs of gum disease, like the patient’s gums bleeding easily when touched, are also noted.
Diagnostics, like X-rays, are typically part of a complete dental examination. They are used to evaluate bone structures underneath the gums and the inner layers of teeth. X-rays can be used to spot issues like tooth decay or an infection. Other aspects of a complete oral examination include the following.
This involves the dentist examining the condition of the patient’s gum tissues to assess if they have developed gum disease. The early stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, can be reversed, so early detection goes a long way. The later stage, called periodontitis, can only be managed, and it can lead to teeth falling out. Spotting gum disease early makes it significantly easier to treat.
Tooth by tooth examination
The tooth-by-tooth examination performed during a comprehensive dental exam helps detect any defects on or with their alignment. The dentist might recommend restorations, like crowns, or treatments, like composite bonding, to fix any issues that they detect.
Dentists also examine their patients for cosmetic issues during comprehensive dental exams. Most cosmetic issues, like stains or damaged teeth, can be fixed by performing appropriate treatments, like teeth whitening, or placing restorations, like crowns and veneers.
The dentist will also examine the alignment of the patient’s teeth during a comprehensive examination. Poorly aligned teeth can ruin the appearance of a person’s smile and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Poor alignment also puts excessive wear on teeth, which can lead to temporomandibular joint problems and teeth becoming loose.
Get your mouth evaluated
A complete dental exam also serves as a chance to perform corrective and preventative treatments as needed. Are you due for a dental check-up? Call or visit our Dallas clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.
Request an appointment here: https://www.highlandsdentaldallas.com or call Highlands Family Dentistry at (214) 491-5362 for an appointment in our Dallas office.
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