The ADA defines a ‘periodic oral exam’ as “… an exam that is done on established patients to determine any changes in dental and health status since a previous comprehensive or periodic evaluation”.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends new patients have a comprehensive dental exam on their first visit and established patients undergo this exam every 3 years.
A comprehensive dental exam takes an entire appointment. Following is a general overview of what should be included in a comprehensive exam.
- 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)
- esthetic changes to your smile
- implants to replace lost teeth
- updating old dental restorations
- new dentures
- been diagnosed with a medical problem or disease