The most important component to any dental examination is the development of mutual respect between a patient and a doctor. We feel this can and should be established via an understanding of a patient’s needs and concerns prior to an examination.
A comprehensive dental examination should include an evaluation of all structures related to the oral cavity important to optimal esthetics and function.
Extra-orally this includes thorough examination of: facial proportions, muscles attached to the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ), the TMJ, facial and oral esthetics, head and neck skin evaluation, and lymph node palpation. Inside the oral cavity a thorough examination includes evaluation of: the oral cavity soft tissue and musculature, periodontium (gums and bone), teeth, tooth restorations, tooth pathology, occlusion (“bite”), and dental esthetics.
Radiographic and photographic evaluation is generally necessary to solidify dental related findings. In addition to the data gathered during an examination, diagnostic stone casts (replicas) of one’s teeth are used to help evaluate and plan the best possible treatment option(s) to restore oral health, comfort, and function.
The information gathered from the examination is used to identify the etiology (source) of your oral condition and to engineer a plan to correct it with proper education and the most predictable treatment options available for your mouth.