A Comprehensive Oral Examination is a complete assessment and documentation of all hard and soft, intraoral, and extraoral tissues.
- A review of current vitamins, medications, and natural remedies the patient is taking
- The dentist will gather all of the patient’s dental and medical history.
- Documenting allergies, previous hospitalizations, surgeries, and any noteworthy medical conditions
- Determine if the patient has a history of adverse reactions to anesthesia
- The patient will inform the dentist how frequently they drink and smoke
- Dental x-rays may be helpful to investigate any potential dental issues.
What to Expect During the Oral Examination
During the oral examination, the dentist will conduct a manual and visual screening of the mouth and the lymph nodes. Examining the soft and hard palate and the lips’ inner and outer part are the next step. The dentist will then investigate under the mouth, and then the cheeks, and behind the molars. Preventative dental care is always the main focus of this Port Coquitlam dentist. During the oral exam, our dentist is also screening for cancer.
Why Is An Oral Cancer Screening Important?
We want you to maintain a healthy and happy smile for as long as possible. If you have a history of smoking and drinking, then it’s important to have a comprehensive dental examination (or oral exam) when you visit the dentist. For low-risk patients, then it is fine to have an exam every three to five years.
Oral cancer exams (oral cancer screenings) are used as a tool to screen for cancer before a person has symptoms. Early detection of abnormal tissue or cancer can help treat it more effectively. By the time symptoms begin to appear, cancer may have already begun to spread. Since it’s difficult to determine who is more at risk for oral cancer, oral cancer screenings are recommended every time you visit a new dentist. You can feel comfortable knowing that it does not mean you have mouth cancer when a dentist requests an oral screening. Instead, they suggest that it may be a good idea because it poses a potential risk to you. If a screening test comes back abnormal, you will require further diagnostic testing to determine if it is cancer or not.
The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health
Mouth cancer refers to cancer that develops in any part of the oral cavity, your mouth. According to the Mayo Clinic, the list includes:
- The inner lining of cheeks
- root of mouth
- Floor of the mouth
A comprehensive oral examination helps protect oral health and your overall health.
In-between Comprehensive Oral Examinations
As you strive to protect your oral health and overall health, it’s still important to look for signs and mouth cancer symptoms. If you have persistent signs and symptoms of any of the following, then it’s time to see your Port Coquitlam dentist:
- A lip or mouth sore that doesn’t heal
- A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
- Loose teeth
- A growth or lump inside your mouth
- Mouth pain
- Ear pain
- Difficult or painful swallowing
Who performs an oral cancer exam?
Encore Dental is best suited to providing your oral cancer screening. We are specialists in the field of oral hygiene and will notice any abnormalities or suspicious tissue.
How is an oral cancer screening carried out?
Although there is no set routine or procedure, your medical procedure should do something similar to the following:
- Preparation: If you have full or partial dentures, you will be asked to remove them before the exam.
- Inspection: Your face, neck, lips, and mouth will be inspected for any signs of cancer or abnormal tissue.
- Physical: Using both hands, your healthcare provider will feel underneath your jaw and the side of your neck for signs of cancer, including lumps.
- Look and feel: Your medical professional will look and feel the inside of your lips and cheeks to search for any signs of early cancer.
- Tongue: Your tongue will be checked for any abnormal swelling, colour, or texture. The top, base, and underside of your tongue will all be checked.
Dental exams may include counseling about diet, smoking habits, and lifestyle factors that may harm your oral health. Depending on what the dentist learns from the patient during the initial assessment, there may be a need for dental x-rays. The dental x-ray gives the dentist a detailed view of your mouth ignorer to help diagnose potential problems, such as caries in-between teeth.
It’s routine for the dentist to ask the dental hygienist to take a dental impression to evaluate your bite. The same impression can be used to make a mouthguard or bleaching trays if the patient needs dental services. The process is fairly simple, as the dental hygienist fills a horse-shoe shaped tray with a soft, gelatin-like material. The trays are inserted into your mouth over your lower and upper teeth. The patient will bite down for a few minutes and is a painless part of the dental exam.
Schedule A Comprehensive Dental Examination
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