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CLINICAL EXAMINATION

 

 

Developing an accurate and comprehensive treatment plan depends on a thorough analysis of all the general and oral health conditions that exist when the patient presents for evaluation. A comprehensive clinical examination involves assembling significant findings from the following five areas:

• The physical examination
• The intraoral and extraoral soft tissue examination
• The periodontal examination
• The examination of the teeth
• The radiographic examination
 
Physical Examination
Unlike the physician who examines many areas of the body for signs of disease, the dentist in general practice usually performs only a limited overall physical examination that includes evaluation of:
• Patient posture and gait
• Exposed skin surfaces
• Vital signs
• Cognition and mental acuity
• Speech and ability to communicate
 
With careful observation and findings from the health history, the dentist can detect many signs of systemic diseases that could have treatment implications and may suggest referral to a physician. For example, a patient who has difficulty walking may be afflicted with osteoarthritis or have a neurologic problem, such as Parkinson’s disease or a stroke. The appearance of the skin, hair, and eyes may suggest such diseases as anemia, hypothyroidism, or hepatitis.
 
Measuring vital signs provides an easy and objective measure for physical evaluation. Heart rate, rhythm, and blood pressure should be measured for every new patient and reevaluated at each periodic examination. The vital signs should also be taken before administering any local anesthetic or sedation and at the beginning of all visits for patients under treatment for high blood pressure, thyroid disease, or cardiac disease. Automated blood pressure devices have greatly simplified the process of obtaining these measurements. The normal pulse rate for adults is 60 to 90 beats per minute at rest, with a regular and strong rhythm. Blood pressure measurements can vary considerably between individuals, but ideally should be lower than 120/80 mm Hg.
 
Although not regularly recorded, measuring vital signs such as respiration rate and temperature may be indicated for patients with respiratory problems or signs of infection. Some practitioners record height and weight measurements for children, with the latter being especially useful for calculating medication dosages.
 
Intraoral And Extraoral Examination
Evaluation of head and neck structures for evidence of tissue abnormalities or lesions constitutes an important part of a comprehensive examination. This is typically accomplished by looking for variations from normal and by palpating the tissues to detect abnormalities. 
 
 
Dentalplaza.co.uk is one professional dental supplies website which supplies dental equipment in UK with competitive price and high quality.

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