A Comprehensive Dental Exam is a special extended exam protocol, usually lasting one hour. It may be scheduled along with your hygiene appointment or separately. It is designed to develop a complete picture of your dental health, as well as how your dental health may be influencing your overall health. A comprehensive dental exam is “health-focused”, instead of “problem-focused”, looking beyond obvious areas of concern. Within this health focus, we will discuss the appearance of your teeth, their function and how this fits in to your overall health. This comprehensive approach lets us learn much more about your oral health, and have the time to discuss possibilities for maintaining and improving it.
Your Comprehensive Dental Exam will begin with a discussion with Dr. Brady. It is important for her understand your questions, interests and concerns and to learn about your overall health and past dental experiences. Dr. Brady will then thoroughly examine your joints, muscles, tongue, gums and teeth.
A typical comprehensive dental exam includes:
• Any necessary digital x-rays
• Digital photos of your teeth
• TMJ joint screening
• Muscle screening
• Periodontal exam
• Tooth exam
• Oral cancer screening
• Cosmetic dental evaluation
• Medical history review
• Dental history review
For patients with more extensive needs, Dr. Brady may schedule an additional one hour exam session about a week later. In some cases, she may wish to take impressions of your mouth and prepare a diagnostic model of your teeth in order to complete a thorough occlusal analysis (an advanced study of your TMJ joint health, muscles and biting characteristics).
After your comprehensive exam, Dr. Brady will analyze the information collected, examination results, diagnostics and photos. About a week later you will return for a follow-up consultation.
When you return for your follow-up consultation, she will take you on a “tour” of your mouth, using photos and other information collected during the exam. The goal of this consultation is for you to understand the present condition of your dental health as well as learn how to preserve and improve it. If you had indicated an interest in specific treatments, she will develop a list of treatment possibilities and alternatives for you to consider. Most importantly, the information learned from this advanced examination will allow you to ask the right questions about your dental health.
Dr. Brady encourages patients to bring their spouse, parent or family member with them to the follow-up consultation.