Diagnostic procedures

We believe at Bembridge Dental that every examination should be comprehensive, and include a full examination of not only your teeth, but also your soft tissue and gums. We will allow enough time at your examination appointments to discuss in detail the diagnosis, and available options of treatment to treat any conditions diagnosed.

 

We may need to refer onwards for further diagnosis, such as for biopsies or radiographs, however if this is required we will discuss this further with you.

Periodontal screening

At every examination appointment, we will assess the health of your gums by using a periodontal probe, and example is shown to the right. We may also need to carry out further assessments, such as radiographs. Following on from this assessment, we will be able to construct a treatment plan that best suits your needs. Gum health can change rapidly, particularly during periods of stress and ill health, so it is important to have a thorough periodontal examination at each scheduled recall.

 

At your appointments, we will screen for the following:

  • Generalised colour of the gums
  • Texture of the gums
  • Gum type
  • Plaque presence in all areas
  • Presence of bleeding around each tooth
  • Presence of calculus (tartar) in all areas
  • Identification and measurement of pocket depths
  • Identification and measurement of recession areas

 

Hard tissue screening

At every examination appointment, we will thoroughly check all of your hard tissues, using a variety of methods dependant on your needs. These include clinically viewing your teeth, using a probe, taking radiographs where required and checking the health of your temporomandibular joint. We will discuss with you our findings before any treatment is conducted.

 

We will check the following:

 

  • presence of decay
  • presence of tooth wear
  • presence of erosion
  • health status of current fillings and other restorations
  • occlusion
  • eruption patterns for children
  • requirement for orthodontic treatment
  • presence of fractures
  • alveolar ridge assessment (if required)
  • bony abnormalities

Soft tissue screening

The intraoral soft tissue examination includes checking the soft tissues of the mouth, the throat, and the tongue.

 

We will begin by examining the lips and the mucosa inside the lips called the labial mucosa. The labial mucosa will be examined by gently turning the lip out. The labial mucosa should appear wet and shiny.

 

We will then examine the inside of the cheeks, called the buccal mucosa. This examination will be performed in a thorough and stepwise manner, moving from one side to the other. The mucosa should be smooth, moist and shiny.

 

Next, we will examine the hard palate, which is the firm area of the roof of the mouth and then the soft palate, which is the soft area behind the hard palate. We will then look at the throat.  

 

The next step is to examine the tongue. The top of the tongue will be examined first, followed by the sides of the tongue, which may stretch the tongue slightly. The tongue will be moved from one side to the other. If there is any swelling or ulcers, then the area will be palpated. The tissue in this area should be soft.  The underside of the tongue will also be examined.

 

Now we will examine the floor of the mouth. We will feel the saliva glands, which usually feels ropey or lobulated. A salivary stone in this area would feel hard. This examination is not painful, but it is a slightly odd feeling.  

 

 

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