Regular examinations are the best protection against gum disease, tooth loss and other dental conditions. A comprehensive examination will consist of:
- X-Rays (full mouth series/panoramic) – The combination of both a full mouth series and a panoramic can provide your dentist with a complete view of all of the structures of your mouth.
- Study Models/Occlusal Analysis – Dental models are 3-D versions of your mouth made from impressions. These can allow your dentist a view of every tooth as well as how the teeth fit together. This can be analyzed to determine whether there is any abnormal alignment of the teeth that may require treatment
- Vital Signs – Taking a patient’s vital signs is a precaution used to measure baseline rates of pulse, respiration and blood pressure. The dentist can then monitor whether the vital signs are changing and the patient is in distress.
- Periodontal Screening– Periodontal screenings typically focus on the diagnosis of gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Oral Cancer Screening – Your dentist should also evaluate the teeth and mouth for indications of oral cancer. A growth or abnormality may appear as red or white patches in the mouth, sores that do not heal or bleed easily or thickening of the skin inside the mouth.
- TMJ Screening – The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is located in front of your ear where your skull and lower jaw meet. TMJ disorders are characterized by pain in the face or jaw area, headaches, earaches, limited mouth opening and clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint. Since some of these symptoms are observed in many conditions, a thorough clinical examination is important.