Comprehensive Oral Evaluation
A comprehensive oral exam is usually performed the first time a dentist sees you or if you have had major health changes since your last dental visit.
During a comprehensive oral examination, your dentist will ask about your health history, perform a thorough visual examination, take x-rays, and examine the head and neck to check for any lumps, bumps or abnormalities that could indicate health problems.
What Type of Oral Evaluation Do I Need?
Periodic Oral Evaluation
A periodic oral exam is commonly performed when you visit your dentist for a cleaning. Your dentist will check your teeth, soft tissues and bite to determine any changes in dental and health status.
Limited oral evaluation
A limited oral evaluation is an exam that addresses a specific problem or dental emergency such as a toothache, infection or trauma to the teeth.
What to Expect During My Oral Evaluation?
The soft tissue exam includes every area in your mouth, including: lips, cheeks, gums, roof and back of the mouth, tongue, throat and the tonsil area. This portion of the exam can help your dentist determine if you have signs of oral cancer or other diseases. Many illnesses first manifest themselves as changes within the mouth.
Your dentist will check for signs of:
Periodontal probing consists of sticking an instrument between your teeth to measure the size of pocket depths around each tooth. If it’s too deep and there is a lot of gum recession, it could indicate that you have periodontal disease.
Your dentist will examine your teeth and make note of existing restorations, root canals, cavities, and fractures, and check your teeth for deterioration due to abnormal bite, teeth grinding or TMJ. If x-rays were taken, he or she will look for additional signs of decay or damage.