What Takes Place During a Complete Oral Exam?

What Takes Place During a Complete Oral Exam?

Mar 02, 2021

A complete oral exam is a comprehensive dental exam covering all bases from medical health to teeth and gum health to give a full overall picture of the current oral health status. Complete oral exams are recommended every 3-5 years, or anytime you change dental offices, the new office can create a baseline of your oral health. During a comprehensive oral exam, you can expect some or all of the following: 

Creating or updating the medical health status

– Gathering information about any current medications, medical conditions, allergies, past surgeries, etc. Medical health and oral health go hand in hand. 

Addressing the chief concern 

– Do you have any issues regarding the state of your mouth, teeth or gums? Do you have any pain or sensitivity? Are you interested in improving your smile?

Extra Oral Exam 

– Examining the tissues of the face, head and neck, including the health of the lymph nodes 

Assessing the TMJ 

– Making sure the jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint, is functioning well and not causing any pain or clicking, which can be a sign of teeth clenching and grinding 


Intra Oral Exam 

– Assessing the soft tissues inside the mouth such as the roof of the mouth, the throat, the tongue, the floor of the mouth and the cheeks for any signs of abnormalities 

Oral Cancer Screening 

– Assessing all oral soft tissues for any signs of cancerous lesions 

Creating or updating charting 

– Any fillings, missing teeth, dental crowns/implants/bridges are recorded 

Assessing for any new problems 

– Such as cavities, chips, fractures, wear, abrasion, etc. 

Periodontal Exam

– Recording measurements of the gums that assess for health, such as periodontal pockets and gum recession. This gives an indication of the current state of the gums and bone health 

Taking X-rays (If needed) 

– X-rays are used to assess the health of the in-between surfaces of teeth as well as their roots and bone support 


– A referral can be given to a dental specialist such as a periodontist (gum specialist), orthodontist (for braces) or an oral surgeon, depending on the need 

Oral Hygiene Instruction 

– Detailed instructions will be reviewed on ways to improve your oral hygiene at home in terms of brushing, flossing and any extra oral hygiene aids that are recommended

Recall Interval 

– A regular maintenance interval will be set out based on the health of your gums/ teeth and your individual needs 

Treatment Plan 

– A treatment plan will be developed for any future treatment needs such as fillings, restorative work or further cleanings 

If you have any questions about complete oral exams or believe you may be due for one, contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

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