The dental exam is the time in which the doctor visually examines you for any disease or problems that may exist with not just your teeth but also with your bone, jaw, TMJ, muscles, lips, tongue, and gums. The doctor will also use radiographs, scans and measurements obtained to determine the severity and extent of any disease or deformity. This is regularly done twice a year at your cleaning appointments but should be done at least once a year to renew any diagnosis and prescription made to receive treatment needed, including a cleaning. The doctor will then take the findings, create a diagnosis, and prescribe the best course of treatment with any alternative treatment options.
“Diagnosis precedes treatment” Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (AD980-1037), Persian physician-scholar, Canon Medicinae