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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

What is Comprehensive Dentistry?

Apr 04, 2011 06:48PM

Comprehensive Dentistry looks at the whole person, not just a tooth in trouble. It is based on the theory that most people would like to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime, and with a little help, you can. Comprehensive Dentistry views the mouth as the gateway to the human body. Liquids and solids enter the body through the mouth and digestion starts here. Proper functioning of the mouth is vitally important. Several types of cardiovascular diseases may be linked to oral health; heart disease, clogged arteries, stroke and bacterial endocarditis. Research is ongoing to substantiate this discovery.

The foundation of Comprehensive Dentistry is the comprehensive exam. Look for a doctor that offers a comprehensive exam that will go something like this. First, an interview with the patient is conducted. The objective of this interview is to listen to your concerns, dental and health history and goals. Then a thorough medical history is taken, paying attention to medications, supplements, allergies and existing conditions. Radiographs are taken with the newer digital x-rays, which have the lowest radiation and instant viewing for the patient. A panoramic x-ray is valuable in looking at structures other than the teeth, including the jaws, sinuses and jaw joints. As part of the soft tissue exam, some doctors will include an oral cancer screening. Each tooth and restoration is thoroughly examined.

The Diagnodent laser can be used in the exam to pick up decay before it is noticeable. Expect a periodontal exam investigating the gums, pocketing, recession, bleeding, bone loss and mobility. An occlusial exam is done to analyze the ‘bite’, the muscles, ligaments, tempromandibular joints and how they all fit and work together. Then a ‘smile analysis’ in which the doctor will take the teeth, lips, and face into account for study. Photographs, molds, and casts are made, and an assessment of the patient’s hygiene is done.

With comprehensive exams, patients typically come back at a later date to receive their diagnosis and treatment options, with the pros and cons of the various possibilities. Each patient chooses the treatment plan that fits their needs. Together doctor and patient strategize the plan for treatment and schedule. Often treatment is phased to arrive at an optimal goal in the future.

All reconstructive work needs to be built upon a foundation of a healthy periodontium and a stable bite. When you choose Comprehensive Dentistry, the comprehensive exam coupled with the patients own willingness to assume responsibility, ensures a mouthful of natural teeth for a lifetime.

Smile Design Center is located in Viera. For questions or to set up an appointment for your comprehensive exam please call 321-771-7775. For information visit

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