Best practices

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An example of a comprehensive oral exam on a 3 year old patient. Early start of oral health programme had a significant beneficial effect on caries prevalence after 3 years.Attention should also be given to the extra-oral examination step: cranial nerves, lymph nodes, salivary glans, etc.



Title: An example of a comprehensive oral exam on a 3 year old patient


Slide: Extra-oral examination

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Cranial nerves
  • Lymph nodes
  • Carotid
  • Veins
  • Salivary glands
  • Thyroid
  • TMJ - Clicking/Crepitus
  • Range of jaw motion
  • Masticatory muscle palpation pain
  • Cervical muscle pain

Slide: Intra-oral examination

  • Lips
  • Buccal mucosa
  • Labial mucosa
  • Gingivae
  • Tongue
  • Floor of mouth
  • Hard palate
  • Soft palate
  • Pharynx
  • Tonsils
  • Glands
  • Dentition
  • Occlusion

>> Pediatric Dentist:

  • The yellowish discoloration is an example of advanced early childhood caries

Slide: Dental hard tissue exam

  • The primary dentition consists of 20 teeth, which are labeled #A through #T, beginning on the upper right (#A) and ending on the lower right (#T)
  • A hard tissue exam is completed with a mirror and explorer. The explorer is used to check for soft, demineralized or "sticky" areas which may be classified as decay.
  • Depending on the patient’s age, behavior, plaque accumulation, spacing and/or presence of caries, radiographs may be required for a complete exam.

>> Pediatric Dentist:

  • Abre grande! #B present, #C present. Abre grande! #D,# E, #F and #G loss caries also known as childhood caries. H is present. #I and #J. She has occlusal on #K. Abre grande! Muoy bien! Occlusal on #L, #N, #M, #O, #P, #Q, #R, #S also has an occlusal, #T also has an occlusal. On #N, #O, #P and #Q she has caries on the facial as well as on the lingual.


Disclaimer:Participants in the following informational video consented according to St. Barnbas Hospital media release protocols and consented to have the content displayed at for educational purposes.



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