EXAMINATION OF TEETH AND MUCOSA
Teeth examination with the help of mirror and probe is the basic and most important diagnostic method. Each tooth has four or five surfaces and for that reason we need to take time for detailed examination of each one because dental caries doesn't always appear as a hole or brown spot on teeth. Sometimes it can appear as a chalky white spot or a greyish shadow between the teeth. It's very important to pay particular attention to interdental areas (the points of contact of two teeth), where cavities usually remain unidentified.
All the areas that we are not sure if they are healthy or not, should be marked in the dental status in patient's chart. In case of suspected caries, we take x-rays in order to establish a correct diagnosis. The patient will need to have regular check-ups.
A dentist, as a doctor of dental medicine is supposed to examine complete oral cavity and not only teeth. If the doctor carefully examines mucosa he will be able to identify potential systemic diseases and pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions, and save the patient's life.
GINGIVAL AND PERIODONTAL EXAMINATION
Together with your teeth, it's necessary to examine the gums and possible existence of periodontal pockets. If the dentist determines that the patient has periodontal problems, it will be necessary to measure the depth of the pockets in order to evaluate the success after the treatment. With the same attention the mucous membrane should be examined in order to identify the changes in time (pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions) which could be of vital importance.
DIAGNOSING THE PROBLEMS OF ORAL HYGIENE MAINTENANCE
To the people that don't maintain their oral hygiene well enough it's necessary to indicate the problem without hesitating. It's the dentist's obligation and a good dentist will always point it out. On the contrary, he will teach every single patient how to properly brush the teeth and which toothbrush to use. Taking care of the patient's hygiene will result in patient's good oral health and his gratitude.
There are special plaque detectors that reveal plaque on the teeth. Plaque detectors highlight the plaque that remains visible. With brushing the tints dissappear and this way the patient learns how long he needs to brush the teeth to remove all plaque.