Comprehensive Oral Exam

At Willow Pass Dental Care Pediatric Department, we believe that oral health must be part of a child's daily routine. It is important that at an early age children are taught about proper oral hygiene and the benefits that they can gain from it. Our pediatric dental specialists make sure that dental hygiene is fun and easy for children to grasp and learn. Besides focusing on educating kids and their parents about the proper way to brush and floss, a comprehensive oral exam helps reveal if any treatment is necessary and what are the specific dental needs of the patient.

What happens during a comprehensive oral exam? 

Comprehensive oral exams consist of a combination of the following procedures to make sure that all aspects of the child's oral health is addressed and an effective treatment strategy formulated according to the results.

The physical, oral examination is used to determine the actual physical state of the mouth and oral structures. A visual check up can help determine if any cavities are present. For more information, digital x-rays can be taken to determine the extent of the decay and see if it has spread to underlying structures. When all the pieces of the puzzle are put together, the parents will be informed about the findings and will be told if there is any needed treatment. The child will also be taught how to take care of his or her teeth so that he can maintain a beautiful smile.

What types of preventing treatments are offered during the exam? 

At Willow Pass Dental Care Pediatric Department, we know that the best treatment is prevention. As a result, we offer a wide variety of preventive treatments to keep your child from needing any fillings in the future. These include a thorough dental cleaning, the use of dental sealants, fluoride treatment, or space-maintainers for missing teeth. For children that grind their teeth, pediatric night guards are an option.

Can the need for braces or root canals be determined during the comprehensive exam?

When the pediatric dentist takes a look at your child's x-rays and bite, they can determine if there is a need for endodontic (root canal) or orthodontic treatment. Endodontic treatment may be indicated if a tooth is a candidate for extraction but can be saved by root canal therapy. Orthodontic treatment, or braces, may be indicated to facilitate the alignment of teeth, improvement of the bite, closing of gaps between teeth, and correcting the proportions between the teeth and the child's overall facial features.

What if treatment is necessary?

If your child has cavities that require treatment, the dentist will determine the most effective way to put the child at ease. In addition to local anesthesia to numb the tooth, some younger children do best when under sedation. For larger cases and younger children, putting the child to sleep completely may be the best option. Alternatively, oral sedation can be used to make the child calm, but leave them awake during treatment. All of this can be determined during the comprehensive oral exam.