What Is A Complete Oral Exam?
A complete oral exam is also called a comprehensive oral exam or a COE. It is important to note that this is not the same type of exam as a dental checkup. Dental checkups only last a few minutes, unlike a COE which can take up to half an hour.
What Does It Involve?
A complete oral exam in a standard dental procedure that most patients report as being easy with minimal to no discomfort.
This type of exam involves taking colour photos of the inside of the mouth. The photos show the colour and health of the gums, cheeks, lips and other soft tissues. All the teeth are also photographed to show their current health and condition.
X-rays are also used to detect the presence of dental decay or cavities and any active dental infections. In children and young adults, the x-rays are helpful to monitor and track the development and emergence of both baby and adult teeth.
Every aspect of your tooth is also recorded. The rotation of your teeth and position of your teeth are also noted. The level of gum tissue around the teeth is noted. Any current damage to teeth regarding chipping, abrasions, attrition or cracks are also noted. The size and areas of current dental restorations charted as well.
Why Is All Of This Necessary?
You may be asking yourself why all of this information necessary, especially if your mouth feels fine. Often, changes in oral health occur gradually. Sometimes these changes are so subtle that they are not fully realized until the dental condition is moderate or serious. By having a snapshot or baseline data of your oral health, your dentist can routinely monitor your oral health for small changes.
If small dental issues or problems can be treated early enough, you can avoid costly treatment and discomfort. A complete oral exam also gives your dentist an overall idea of your oral health and where improvements are needed. This information helps your dentist to prepare a personalized treatment plan specifically to improve your oral health.
If you have not had a complete oral exam in a long time or if you have never had one before, call us to schedule your appointment.