A comprehensive exam lays the foundation for excellent dental care. At Willowdaile Family Dentistry in Durham, NC, you will experience the easy, gentle way to painless dental health.

The comprehensive exam involves the following:

  • Extensive medical and dental history
  • Review of any medications patient is taking
  • Blood pressure for designated patients
  • Cancer screen for oral cancer involving:
  • Visual and digital examination of lymph nodes in front of the ears; behind the ears; jaw area; beneath the chin; and neck area looking for pain, tenderness, and flexibility of the nodes
  • Visual and digital examination of the lips (inside and out); inside the mouth including: hard and soft palate, behind the molars, floor of the mouth, lips, borders, frenum, surfaces of the checks, tongue size, color, shape and position.
  • Periodontal exam or periodontal screening which involves taking 6 measurements PER tooth of pocket depths and recording these pocket depths. In this exam mobility of teeth are checked; bone loss is measured; calculus, bleeding, swelling and recession are recorded to determine presence of gum. If you are sensitive to this exam please let your dental assistant and dentist know beforehand.

Occlusal screen to examine:

  1. Bad bites that include teeth that are crooked, crowded, or spaced too far apart.
  2. Overbite which is when the upper jaw is too far in the front of the lower jaw or the upper jaw is too far back
  3. Underbite or “bulldog” jaw occurs when the lower jaw is too far in front or the upper jaw is too far back.
  4. Open bite occurs when the back teeth contact and the front or side teeth do not which can lead to excessive wear of the teeth or damage the jaw joints.
  5. Crossbite occurs when a tooth or a series of teeth are in opposite placement to the normal causing chewing problems.
  6. Wear of teeth
  7. Chewing problems
  8. Pain in joints and jaw areas
  9. Mouth opening abilities
  10. TMJ/TMD

Complete cavity check tooth by tooth which is recorded in a detailed tooth chart recording:

  • Conditions of the teeth and mouth
  • Existing work done on the teeth
  • Decay
  • Leakage
  • Treatments needing to be done
  • Positions of teeth
  • Impactions

Comprehensive treatment plans are designed to incorporate the patient’s immediate, intermediate and long-term dental needs. An evaluation of possible cosmetic enhancements of your smile will be done. This plan will be covered with you.

The “routine oral exam,” known as the recall exam, is a maintenance exam done every 6 months after the comprehensive exam. This exam is done to aid in prevention of tooth decay, gum disease, or other dental disorders that could develop during this time. These exams are maintenance visits to help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.