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1. The Basic Examination and Anesthetic Instruments


Diagnosis is the process of identifying a disease or disease process from a study of its appearance and effects. Since the patient is not always aware of the presence of disease, recognition must often precede diagnosis. For this reason, both periodic physical and dental examinations are required for Army personnel. Dental examinations result routinely in the diagnosis of dental caries and periodontal disease, but the dentist
 does not limit his examination to dental and periodontal tissues. Because of his training, the dentist
 has the responsibility of diagnosing localized diseases of the lips, the tongue, the oral mucosa, and the salivary glands and diagnosing changes in such tissues that are indications or extensions of diseases at other locations in the body. Many systemic diseases present early oral manifestations that are discovered during routine dental examination. Thorough examination of oral tissues occasionally results in the discovery of malignant, potentially malignant, or other serious lesions. Early recognition of these conditions permits early, more effective, and more conservative treatment, resulting in a more favorable prognosis.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015