Hesperian Health Guides

Where to Examine

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HealthWiki > Where There Is No Dentist > Chapter 6: Examination and Diagnosis > Where to Examine


Examine people in a light and bright place. It is dark inside a person’s mouth, so you need light to see the teeth and gums.

Use the sun. Examine outside, or inside a room facing the window. With sunlight alone, you will be able to see most places in the mouth well enough. If you cannot, set up a lamp or have someone hold a lamp for you. Reflect the light off a small mouth mirror onto the tooth or gum.

If you have a low chair, lift up the person’s chin so that you do not have to bend over as far when you look into the mouth. An even better way is to have the person sit on some books. The person’s head can lean back on a piece of cloth.

a chair with a headrest as described below, next to a window in a room with an electric lamp.
Use an old chair with a strong back.

Attach two flat sticks to the chair. Then tie a strip of clean cloth to the sticks. Tie it strong enough to support the head, but loose enough to let the head lean back.


This page was updated:19 Feb 2018