Clinical Evaluation of Oral Diseases
Oral medicine is concerned with the diagnosis and nonsurgical management of medically related disorders of the oral and maxillofacial region, as well as the oral health management of medically compromised patients. Oral diseases have a wide range of clinical presentations and can manifest either as a local oral disease or as a sign of an underlying systemic condition. Therefore, oral health is a vital component of overall systemic health, and an oral lesion may in certain situations be the initial presentation of a systemic disorder. Consequently, it is imperative that oral healthcare providers and physicians are adequately trained to accurately diagnose and manage diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial region. This chapter addresses the systematic approach required for the evaluation of patients who present with oral diseases. This includes the process of obtaining a thorough history, performing a comprehensive clinical examination, performing vital signs, and ordering appropriate investigations that provide the clinician with key information vital to establishing a final diagnosis. The categories and classification systems of oral diseases as well as the indications for referrals and consultations with other health-care providers and guidelines for documentation are reviewed.
KeywordsMedical history Physical examination Extraoral examination Intraoral examination Differential diagnosis Definitive diagnosis Documentation
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