What is a Comprehensive Dental Exam?
A comprehensive exam is a thorough dental exam for new patients or for existing patients every 3-5 years depending on their needs. It sets the foundation for future dental exams and restorative care. For new patients that haven’t been to the dentist in awhile, we understand that dental care is something that can easily be overlooked. Many years may have gone by. If that is you, there’s no shame. We’re prepared to see you as you are and will work with you according to your needs and desires.
What to Expect
You can expect the comprehensive exam to take one to one and a half hours to complete. It’s important for us to hear from you what your main concerns and goals are. We then evaluate your health history and take necessary records including x-rays and digital photos. We’ll examine how everything functions together and the condition of your facial esthetics, airway, jaw joint and muscles (TMJ), bite, and teeth and gums.
Once each component of the exam is complete, you’ll get an up-close view of the condition of your oral health. Dr. Jimmy Lutz will go over his findings with you. We’ll give you all the information you need to help you understand any areas of concern. You will then begin discussing any possible treatment options recommended to begin developing a plan for your overall oral health goals.
An important part of the comprehensive dental exam is that we discuss the possible consequences of not following through with treatment according to your individual conditions and future risk of tooth decay, gum disease and any other oral health conditions we identify. We will also give you our recommendations for prevention and best care you can practice at home for optimal oral hygiene.
Many times, you can expect to leave our office having a detailed treatment plan with a clear idea of when work can be scheduled and what finances are involved. Other times, more time may be necessary to develop your treatment plan and discuss options.
Can I expect to get a cleaning during this appointment?
One goal of the comprehensive exam is to determine what type of cleaning is necessary. For example, someone with healthy gums requires a routine dental cleaning but someone with gum disease requires a different type of cleaning. Each type of cleaning requires us to reserve a specific amount of time to complete treatment. Therefore, a patient with healthy gums and optimal oral health could expect to get a routine cleaning that same visit. For someone with more complex dental needs or presence of gum disease would likely need to schedule a separate appointment to continue treatment.
We thrive on helping patients have a clear, detailed restorative plan that works towards returning your mouth to optimal health, function and esthetics. Call us today to schedule your comprehensive exam.