Yet prophylaxis (a dental cleaning), is only part of the equation when it comes to our overall health. In fact, the mouth is often considered a window to the rest of the body because many other illnesses first represent themselves as changes within the mouth. As a result, a periodic oral evaluation is performed each time you visit your dentist to serve as a benchmark of your overall health, and to see if anything has changed with your oral health since your last regular visit.
During a dental examination, your dentist will perform a visual examination, and possibly (particularly if you are pursuing orthodontic treatment) bitewing or 360° panoramic X-rays to detect:
- New cavities
- Weaknesses in already installed crowns, fillings and bridgework
- Gum or bone recession
- Teeth deterioration due to abnormal bite, bruxism or TMJ
Likewise, a similar examination of your lips, gums, tongue and other internal mouth surfaces will be conducted, again looking for various signs of illness or disease.
Since a periodic exam is built upon the foundation of a comprehensive oral evaluation (Comprehensive Oral Evaluation Procedure Code), your doctor will be looking for any changes since your last comprehensive exam to catch any early signs of serious illness that may be otherwise undetected. Some illnesses which can be detected during such evaluations are:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Oral cancer
- Immune abnormalities
- Sinus problems
To look up and find more cdt dental codes from the American Dental Association, please visit our complete Dental Procedure Code Library.