It is essential for verifying and studying the wellbeing of the stomatognathic system, assessing thoroughly the three sectors that compose it: teeth and gums, muscles and TMJ, with the aim of identifying anatomical or functional alterations, and then formulating the most correct diagnosis and consequently the most effective therapy.
The first consultation is the most important part of any medical intervention.
It is in this circumstance that the operator can get to know the patient, and try to understand his problems or needs. Even if a patient is already known, new or referred, his demands may emerge in an appropriate manner only by careful listening.
At the end of the information collection process and anamnesis, (i.e. the main elements related to the patient’s health) you can begin the actual visit. The importance of anamnesis is absolute: without complete information and knowledge of the pre-existing clinical situation and the patient’s habits, the visit would be worth nothing, and it would be incomplete and lacking the necessary elements to complete the diagnosis.
The oral and dental specialist visit should carefully consider not only the teeth and their integrity, but the stomatognathic system in its entirety: careful observation of the gums and the possible presence of lesions, retractions or pockets, but also palpation of the cervical lymphonodes and evaluation of the oral mucosa to look for any anomalies or discoloration. Attention should be paid also to the functionality of the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) and its movements in opening/closing, in order to identify any problems like gliding or clicks.
Screening for precancerous lesions of the oral cavity
The main symptoms of a lesion in the oral cavity are represented by problems with chewing and swallowing, pain and local sensations such as burning, swelling, change in shape and colour of the structures involved. These symptoms are not present in all cases, and indeed in some situations there are asymptomatic lesions that are difficult to identify. In this case it is fundamental to perform a simple exploration and palpation of the oral cavity, to research changes of texture, shape and mobility of the various components that form the stomatognathic system. In some situations it may be necessary to take samples in order to perform bacteriological tests or biopsies for histological examinations. The risk factors for pre-cancerous lesions can be of traumatic, inflammatory, allergic or dermatological nature