The first examination
The first examination is the most important moment of any medical intervention:
The first examination is the most important moment 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, his demands may have changed and they can emerge appropriately only by careful listening.
The first check-up is essential to control and study the wellbeing of the stomatognathic system and supervise its three sectors: teeth and gums, muscles and glands and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
The real examination begins once the gathering of information and the anamnesis (the collection of the main elements related to the patient’s health) have finished. Without complete information and knowledge of the patient’s pre-existing clinical situation and habits, the examination would be worthless and lacking in the essential elements to complete the diagnosis.
The oral and dental specialistic check-up should pay attention not only to the teeth and their integrity, but to the whole stomatognathic system! A careful observation of the gums and their eventual lesions, retractions or pockets, the palpation of the cervical lymph nodes and the examination of the oral mucosa to look for any anomalies or discolouration are very important. The functionality of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and its movements in opening/closing have to be checked too, in order to identify any problems such as gliding or clicks.
That’s why the first examination becomes the most important part for the patient: it’s in this phase that the dentist, on the basis of his experience, can make the diagnosis, which is propaedeutic to the therapy.
To trivialize the first check-up means to disrespect the patient and minimize the role of the examiner.
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