During your dental visit, you know that a dental exam is often part of the normal routine. A dental exam is also called a dental check-up, oral exam, complete oral exam or comprehensive exam. However, there are differences between types of dental exams.
Complete Oral Exam
A complete oral exam is performed on all new patients to a dental office. However, it is also completed on patients of record at a dental office every three to five years. A complete oral exam or comprehensive exam documents various details of your mouth. A single detail tells little, however, all of the details give an overall view of your oral health. Accordingly, here are a few of the details that are charted in a complete oral exam:
Condition of gum tissue
Areas of gum recession
Condition of other soft tissues in the mouth
Number of teeth present and their rotation
Areas of bleeding and inflammation
Existing dental work and condition
Visual inspection for early signs of oral cancer
Evidence of tooth grinding or clenching
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) function
Areas of dental decay
Amount of dental buildup
Unlike, a complete oral exam, a dental check-up takes less time. The goal of a dental check-up is to compare the results from the previous complete oral exam. The results from the complete oral exam are the baseline results that future exams are compared against. Because complete oral exams are done every three to five years, the baseline results become dated after a couple of years. For that reason, dental checkup results are compared to previous dental checkup results as well. A dental check-up will look for changes in certain areas. Areas such as gum health, soft tissue condition, the condition of the tooth, and more are visually inspected. Dental exams provide an opportunity to monitor oral health and to detect potential issues before they become serious.
It is easy to overlook the importance of a dental exam. Especially when it is at the end of the appointment and most of the dental treatment has finished. However, it is important to remember that a lot of costly dental work can be avoided with regular monitoring and maintenance. These are things that can only be addressed properly with routine dental exams and checkups.
Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.