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A Guide to Full Mouth Dental Examinations

24 January 2024

Full Dental Examination

A Guide to Full Mouth Dental Examinations

If you haven’t been to the dentist in years or you’ve never been because of a dental phobia, knowing what to expect from full-mouth dental examinations can be very reassuring. 

So, read on to find out everything you need to know about full-mouth dental examinations. 


What is a full-mouth dental examination?

A full-mouth dental examination, or dental exam is designed to check and protect your oral health and should take around an hour or less to complete.

They are most often carried out by a dentist but can also include treatment from a dental hygienist – whose job it is to professionally clean the teeth and provide advice on how to keep your teeth and gums in the best possible condition. 


Why do you need a full-mouth dental examination?

Patients can need full-mouth dental examinations for a range of reasons, the most common of which is because they are experiencing unpleasant dental symptoms, or it is part of their yearly routine. 

Dental symptoms that need a full-mouth dental examination

There are a range of symptoms that mean you need to go for a dental exam as soon as possible, which include: 

Routine full-mouth dental examinations 

When you see a dentist regularly, you will likely be advised to come in for several dental examinations per year. 

How many you are advised to attend will depend on your dental health and the condition of your teeth and gums, but appointments range from every 6 months to once every two years. 

You may need more frequent appointments if you have:


What does a full-mouth dental examination include? What to expect when you are in the chair

A full-mouth dental examination is usually made up of three parts, though this does depend on both the patient and your choice of dental clinic: 

During your full-mouth dental examination, your dentist will check the condition of your:

To discover how healthy they are and make a note of any complications, including oral cancers, cavities, gum disease, infection, gum recession, and other anomalies. 

By carrying out these checks, your dentist can adequately assess the condition of your teeth, gums, bones, and muscles which makes everyday actions like speaking and eating possible. 

The results of this will then be shared with you before they explain what further treatment or scans you may need to begin the journey to optimum dental health.

If it is deemed necessary, your dentist may want to take scans of your whole mouth to ascertain if any damage has occurred or the condition of your dental structures beneath the gum line. 

As these areas are not visible, damage can occur without you realising it, which can quickly escalate without dental intervention. 

If it is necessary, a dentist or dental hygienist will then thoroughly clean the teeth the teeth using a range of specially designed techniques and tools, including:

This scale and polish process shouldn’t be painful but can be uncomfortable, as you must hold your mouth open and in unusual positions for an extended period. However, it is important to communicate with your dentist if you are feeling nervous or notice any discomfort so they can adjust their technique or support you. 


How is a full-mouth dental examination different from a check-up?

If you attend your dentist appointments regularly, both you and your dentist will have a good idea of your general dental health and will know about any upcoming planned treatments, including professional cleans or fillings. 

By attending dental exams regularly, you can also ensure your dental health continues to improve or stay constant, stopping damage to your teeth and gums. 

These planned treatments will be clearly explained to you and any pricing information you need to know will be communicated to you before your treatment appointment is booked. You will then return for your treatment at another time. 

One-off full-mouth dental examinations, on the other hand, will follow the structure outlined above and can include treatment then and there, alongside a scale and polish or professional clean. 


Contact Marlborough Dental Studio for routine or one-off full-mouth dental examinations 

Whether you need a new dentist due to a change in circumstance, such as a house move, or you need a dentist because you’ve never had one before and you are worried about the condition of your teeth, Marlborough Dental Studio can help. 

We regularly treat entire families and have a friendly, approachable attitude that makes us popular with patients who have dental phobias. 

To register or book your first appointment, you can call us today on 01672 513 184 or fill in our enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.