What is the initial oral examination?
At the Family Dental Group in New York City, the patient’s oral health is the primary concern of every practitioner. We want to make sure that the patient’s gum and teeth health is exemplary, and we exert every effort to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves and for our patients. And to be able to better deliver our services, and extensive initial oral examination is always our first order of business. An initial oral examination will involve a series of tests and procedures that will give the dentist an insight into the actual condition of the patient’s oral health. To facilitate the initial oral examination, some, or all, of the following procedures will be used by the dentist to make sure that all possible conditions are checked. Visual examinations, charting of the patient’s existing conditions, periodontal probing, and cancer screening will all be helpful in formulating an initial assessment of the patient’s actual oral condition. These procedures will be supplemented by full mouth and panoramic x-rays to give the dentist detailed pictures of the teeth and it’s underlying structures, allowing him to formulate a more conclusive diagnosis for each patient.
Visual examination involves the physical inspection of the patient’s teeth for signs of wear and tear, including cracked or chipped teeth, broken fillings, missing teeth, tooth decay, painful teeth and more. In order to enhance visual examination, the dentist may also order a diagnostic cast or mold of the patient’s teeth so that he may be able to analyze more closely the way that the teeth come together in the mouth and assess the patient’s bite.
Periodontal probing is the analysis of the patients gum condition to check for the existence of gum disease or for signs of gum deterioration. The areas in between the gums and teeth will be measured and checked for any sign of disease. The dentist will also check for any unusual movement of the teeth or deterioration of gum mass around each tooth to be able to determine if the existing gum tissue is able to properly support the teeth. Oral cancer screening will also be performed on the drums to rule out any possibility that the patient may be suffering from oral cancer.
The dentist will also check for signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders by examining the jaws and checking that the patient is able to open and close the mouth normally without any popping sensations, or clicking or grating sounds. The dentists will also determine whether the patient is experiencing any pain or headaches associated with jaw movement. Ultrasounds, CT scans, and x-rays will help the dentist determine jaw health and stability in this regard, and help formulate an accurate diagnosis of the patient’s condition.
When all of the tests have been conducted, all the results will be compiled and studied, at the results discussed in a consultation with the patient that will follow later on. At this point, patients are encouraged to ask any questions they may have, in addition to whatever findings of that the dentist may have to share, to make sure that they are on the same page with regards to their oral health and that every component and discussed in detail.