Complete Dental Exam

Complete Dental Exam Mission, TX

Complete Dental Care
A complete dental exam includes all of the data gathering necessary to properly assess the oral health of an individual. We begin by asking the patient if there are any existing problems – a dentist needs to be a good listener. From there we gather ‘hard tissue’ information (bone and teeth) via x-rays. The smaller x-rays show us bone levels and any cavities that may exist between the teeth not visible by visual exam only. The larger x-ray, called a panoramic, is taken to assess any abscesses, impacted teeth, TMJ’s, and bony lesions. From there we move onto the ‘soft tissue’ exam. This exam includes an oral cancer screening, visual examination of the gums and oral tissues, and probing. Yearly probing (when the hygienist calls out numbers while moving around each tooth) maps the topography. Correlating this with the x-rays helps us assess the health of the supporting structures of the teeth. Without probing and x-rays it is impossible to diagnose the presence of gum and bone disease. Periodontal Disease (disease in the supporting structures of the teeth) is the most commonly missed diagnosis in dentistry. Intraoral photos are often taken to aid in the explanation of what we have observed.

What is a complete dental exam and why is it important? 

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