Caries Management by Risk AssessmentAug 14 2014

caries management by risk assessmentDental caries, known more commonly as cavities, are a breakdown in the tooth enamel where the tooth has decayed, often as a result of bacteria. The severity of a cavity can greatly influence the dentist’s decision of how to treat it. While older methods of treatment relied on instant treatment with drilling, filling, and covering immediately after diagnosis there is a shift in medical practice today that provides patients with greater information and time to make treatment decisions for themselves with their risk assessment in mind. CAMBRA stands for Caries Management by Risk Assessment and it provides a method for identifying cavity risk in patients before further treatment. Part of this assessment includes a study of the mouth’s natural bacteria levels as well as an understanding of auxiliary cavity risk factors that are present in a patient’s life, like smoking, excessive drinking, or a poor diet. The California Dental Association has been quite active with work to simplify the CAMBRA process and to create a scale that will shape the treatment decisions to come. The hope is the patients will be more receptive to treatment and choose to employ healthier dental habits if they understand the risks and probability of further cavity growth over time. No longer should patients turn a blind eye to the root cause of the problem and simply fix the problem at hand while their risk for further treatment remains high. This will also offer more treatment options before they decide to go under the drill.

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