Case Scenario 1: The Adult Preventive Appointment

dental patient wearing safety goggles.

Today our patient, Jerry Smith, has come to the Blue State University School of Dentistry to have his teeth cleaned. He has no prior periodontal disease, has no significant health problems and does not take any prescriptions or over-the counter-medications. He has been assigned to Beverly, a second-year dental hygiene student. Jamie, a dental assisting student, will be assisting Beverly with the appointment today.

During a preventive appointment, there are a variety of screening procedures performed on the patient. This will include an oral cancer screening, periodontal screening, and recording teeth and restorations present and missing. Usually the dental hygienist will then performance an oral prophylaxis or cleaning for the patient and give them oral hygiene instructions and demonstrations specifically designed for that patient’s needs.

Beverly to Mr. Smith: "Mr. Smith, I am happy to have you here today. I will start with several screening procedures and collecting oral and general health data so we can effectively treat your needs. After I complete the screenings and record the data, I will clean your teeth which will remove any plaque, calculus and stain. After the cleaning, I will go over oral health information that will aid in your home care."

Beverly to Mr. Smith: "I am going to feel around your head, neck and inside your mouth. As part of this oral cancer screening, I am looking for any lumps or bumps that are outside of what we consider normal anatomy."

After completing the oral cancer screening examination, Beverly begins to assess Mr. Smith’s teeth and surrounding structures.