Dental Examinations for Preventive Care
A comprehensive dental exam allows us to get to know you as well as to obtain a thorough understanding of your dental and overall health. It includes a review of your health and dental history and a thorough analysis of all of the hard and soft tissue in the mouth as well as the head and neck.
Our Dental Exams consists of a review of your gums, your teeth, how your teeth function together (occlusion), an oral cancer screening, and a radiographic exam if it is necessary. This type of dental exam is provided at your initial appointment and is repeated periodically as necessary. This exam is followed by a detailed discussion of any indicated dental treatment if it is necessary.
Please let us know if we can assist you in obtaining any previous dental x-rays. This may reduce the amount of new x-rays needed to provide you with proper care and may aid in the diagnosis of any dental problems that you may have. Please contact us so that we can obtain your health and dental history prior to your appointment in order to maximize your time with the doctor.
Elements of Comprehensive Dental Exams in Gainesville
At Hawkins Family Dental, our goal is to ensure that you’re well educated and aware of what your a dental examination entails. Some of the elements or sub-examinations that make up comprehensive dental exams include:
- Periodontal Exam (gum and bones supporting the teeth)
- Dental Exam (teeth)
- Head and Neck Cancer Exam (soft tissues of mouth, throat and surrounding structures)
- Occlusal Exam (bite analysis)
- TMJ Exam (jaw joints)
- Radiographic Exam (x-rays and various scans)
- Salivary Function Exam (quantity and quality of saliva)
- Esthetic Exam (appearance of teeth and gums related to the face)
Each one of the above can either be done as a screening exam, or as a complete exam. It is the screening that is done on your periodic visits. The screening hits the highlights, but does not go in depth. The screening is perfectly acceptable and is good dentistry.
Common FAQ’s About Comprehensive Dental Exams
Q: Isn’t every check up a comprehensive dental exam? Teeth and gums are poked and prodded at each visit. What else can there be?
A: Yes, the teeth and gums are checked, but there is so much more that can be done. A comprehensive dental exam is a visit by itself and would be too long to perform every time you had a dental appointment. There are so many aspects to be covered, that each clinician will perform a slightly different version.
Your dentist will give you a general overview of what should be included in a comprehensive exam, but since training and experience vary, there will be deviations. The purpose is to find out what is healthy, what is not healthy and examine each aspect of a patient’s oral health closely enough to be able to tell the difference.
Q: Who should have a comprehensive dental exam and when?
A: A patient’s individual circumstances will determine when they need a comprehensive dental exam. That way any potential problems can be discovered before they have time to progress into major problems. Dental disease is very predictable, and so much is avoidable with regular preventive care.
If any major treatment is planned, a comprehensive dental exam is the place to start. Even if you only want to do a few teeth, it is better to see the entire health picture first, then you can make informed choices about how to proceed with treatment.
For instance, a comprehensive dental examination is important:
- If you are considering any esthetic changes to your smile, a comprehensive exam should be done first.
- If you are considering implants to replace lost teeth, a comprehensive exam should be done first.
- If you have old dental restorations that you would like to update, a comprehensive exam should be done first.
- If you are getting new dentures, a comprehensive exam should be done first.
- If you have been diagnosed with a medical problem or disease, you should have a comprehensive dental exam. You can then get treatment for any contributing dental problems, and hopefully make your disease more manageable.
Get Your Comprehensive Dental Exam
As an important aspect of preventive dental care, a comprehensive dental exam means no stone has been left unturned. Your dentist will know everything there is to know about your oral health. That knowledge will enable you and your dentist to make choices that are right for you.
Sometimes consultations with various specialists will be needed to complete the exam. Don’t be discouraged by this. The investigative steps taken in the beginning will mean better treatment for you in the long run. There is a lot of time and work involved in a comprehensive exam, but the knowledge gained is invaluable.
Schedule your comprehensive dental exam with our one of our dentists by contacting us online or by calling (770)-536-1229.