Take the First Step to Oral Health
The foundation of all good dental treatment is a thorough comprehensive exam. This is where we lay the groundwork for all future care and recommendations and get an up-close view of your teeth, gums and mouth.
Comprehensive exams entail far more than just cleaning your teeth. The American Dental Association defines a comprehensive oral exam as an “extensive evaluation and the recording of all extraoral, intraoral and soft tissues”. They recommend comprehensive dental exams for all patients every 3 years starting at age 2.
Poor oral health is linked to diabetes, systemic disorders, high blood pressure, oral cancer, gum and bone disease, deteriorating cardiovascular health and sinus problems. Comprehensive exams are the best preventative and diagnostic measure for your dental and overall health. By evaluating your teeth, gums, jaw and surrounding areas thoroughly, we reduce your risk for undiagnosed and untreated conditions that can damage your overall health. For example, a mildly cracked tooth can cause pain or break off and create additional problems for your mouth, while gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss for American adults, and oral cancer causes more than 7,500 deaths each year. Noticed and treated early, these diseases can be controlled, reduced or eliminated.
Comprehensive exams serve as data collection, whereby your dentist can gather all the information needed to analyze and treat your condition properly.
What to Expect from Your Comprehensive Exam
Our dentists and/or hygienists will first summarize the diagnostic procedures to be performed during the examination and obtain your consent.
During your comprehensive oral exam, your examiner will:
- Evaluate you within the context of your dental and medical history, concerns, background and diet
- Assess your overall health and oral hygiene, specifically your risk for tooth or root decay and gum or bone disease
- Evaluate possible cavities and/or your need for tooth replacement
- Check how well your teeth fit together by examining your bite and jaw
- Remove any stains or deposits on your teeth
- Show you proper cleaning techniques for your teeth
- Examine all restorations, including fixed and removable prostheses
- Take dental X-rays or conduct other diagnostic procedures such as radiographs or other images depending on the individual
- Discuss your complaints, concerns and expectations
- Discuss medications you’re taking that may affect the prognosis, progression and management of your oral health
- Perform an oral cancer screening, checking your face, neck and mouth for abnormalities.
- If necessary, consult another health care professional for a second opinion
- Inform you of findings and observations from the exam
- Record examination results in your dental record
After your dental exam, the dentist or hygienist will discuss your oral health, including your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and any other oral health problems. They’ll also emphasize the best prevention and early detection methods for optimal oral health, include oral hygiene instructions and other applicable recommendations.
Our dentists will use their professional judgment and combined decades of experience to give you the best dental care possible. Comprehensive exams allow our staff to notice changes or problems more easily during future visits.
Our office will also recommend the best time to return for a follow-up visit. If you’re at high risk for tooth decay or gum disease or have other oral health concerns, the dentist or hygienist might recommend more frequent exams.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you’d like to know more about our comprehensive exams or any of our other services, or if you’d like to make an appointment, call Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies today at (970) 223-6101. If you need to reach us after regular business hours, you can also send a contact or appointment request online (below) at your convenience.