The physical examination of the dental patient focuses on the oral cavity and to a lesser degree on the entire axiomatically region. Recording the results of the physical examination should be an exercise in accurate’ description rather
than a listing of suspected medical diagnoses. For example, the clinician may find a chin lesion that is 2 mm in diameter, raised and erythematous, and painful to palpation. These physical findings should be recorded in a Similarly descriptive manner; the dentist should not jump to a diagnosis and record only “acne whitehead on chin.”
Any physical examination should begin with the measurement of vital signs. This serves as both a screening device for unsuspected medical problems and as a baseline for future measurements. The techniques of measuring blood pressure and pulse rates are illustratedin Figs. 1-2 and 1-3.
The physical evaluation of”various parts of the body usually involves one or more of the following four primary means of evaluation: (1) inspection, (2) palpation, (3) percussion, and (4) auscultation. In the oral and axiomatically regions, inspection should always be performed, The clinician should note hair distribution and texture, facial symmetry and proportion, eye movements and conjunctiva color, nasal patency and mucous color, the presence or absence of skin lesion’s or discoloration, and neck or. facial masses, A thorough inspection of the oral cavity is necessary, including the pharynx, tongue,floor of the mouth, and oral mucosa (Fig. 1-4).
Palpation is important when examining mandibular joint (TM]) function, salivary gland size and function, thyroid size, presence or absence of enlarged or tender lymph nodes, and in duration of oral soft tissues, as well as for determining pain or the. presence of fluctuate in areas of swelling:
Physicians commonly use percussion during thoracic and abdominal examinations, and the dentist can use it to test teeth and para nasal sinuses. The dentist uses auscultationprimarily for TM] evaluation, but it is also used for cardiac and pulmonary systems evaluations (BOX 1-6). I\. brief axiomatically examination that all dentists should be able to perform is described in Box 1-7.