Comprehensive Oral Exam

Publication ID Published Version
9296 December 17, 2012 1
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey


Oral health is an integral component of total body health. Many systemic conditions have the potential to impact oral health and the latter can adversely compromise systemic health. A thorough physical examination also includes evaluation of the oral cavity and its associated structures, to screen for signs of local and systemic diseases. This presentation is intended for primary care providers of the dental and medical profession whose practice is aimed at disease prevention and early detection. It provides detailed directions on how to conduct a systematic examination of the oral cavity and use appropriate descriptive terminology to document oral mucosal findings.


Rosenheck A, Fatahzadeh M. Comprehensive Oral Exam. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2012. Available from:

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

  1. To perform the sequence of steps in a comprehensive Oral Examination (COE).
  2. To identify and use all materials and equipment needed for a COE.
  3. To communicate and interact appropriately with the patient during COE.
  4. To identify the anatomic parts of the head and neck which are examined during a COE.
  5. To describe intraoral oral findings using appropriate descriptive terminology.
  6. To record the results of a COE on a standard form.


  • Head and Neck Examination, Lymph Nodes, Extraoral, Intraoral, Mouth, Salivary Glands, Building Oral Health Capacity (BOHC) Collection


  • Medical
    • Family Medicine
    • Preventive Medicine
  • Dental
    • Preventive Dentistry


  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Patient Care
    • Promote health prevention
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement

Professional Interest

  • Assessment
  • Health Education
  • Instructional Materials/Methods
  • Oral Health

Instructional Methods

  • Assessment
  • Lecture

Organ Systems

  • Lymphatic system

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Exam


  • Presentation

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ISSN 2374-8265