HYGIENIST: Exam Sequence


Remember – each office is different! Our documents are intended as suggestions and guidelines only and can be used as a starting point for conversation and your own system development.


The definition of dental pathology is the identification and management of any dental related disease. The first step to any good dental exam is completing an oral cancer screening. It is something that must always be performed by the dentist at every typical dental cleaning during the exam. During this step the dentist is checking for any ‘lumps or bumps’, typically that could be a sign of cancer, however any symptoms or signs of anything abnormal and unhealthy will be assessed during this step.


This middle section in the exam is all about the gums, the dentist is essentially giving a once over ‘double check’ and make sure that they agree with the hygienist. Dr. Hatch prefers to do the perio part of the exam second, because he says that since teeth are his specialty, he wants to make sure he gives a full examination before getting side tracked by teeth. During this step he will ask the hygienists “how do the gums look?” This is their prompt to tell the doctor what they found and what they recommend for the patient.

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