Shifting Toward Risk-Based Dentistry: Have a System

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 02/09/2010
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Dentistry has long been based on the assumption that the treatment of disease would achieve improved health. In the era of evidence-based dentistry, it is no longer acceptable to only treat the results of disease and not the causative factors. Significant research on the changing paradigm of caries has led to a new era of risk-based dentistry. A systematic approach helps professionals make it happen in their practices.

Risk Assessment in Dentistry

Most everyone recognizes the risk factors for heart disease. The term risk factor came from the Framingham Heart Study, one of the most important public health studies in American medical history.

Risk assessment has come to dentistry and is evolving as the standard of care with caries management by risk assessment (CAMBRA) being taught in many dental schools. Dental caries is a multi-factorial biofilm disease. Traditional drilling and filling does not stop or treat the disease process. Caries science now includes identifying, documenting, treating, and then validating known caries risk factors as well as treating the results of the disease. Many diagnostic and therapeutic products are available to assist clinicians in making prudent recommendations for interventions.

CariFree: A Systematic Approach

CariFree from Oral BioTech is a system that incorporates the principles of CAMBRA. The CariFree system was developed in 2003 by New Zealand dentist Graeme Milicich, Doug Young from University of the Pacific, and V. Kim Kutsch, DMD. Their goal was to design a system based on the best of current science.

CariFree is a proactive method for cavity prevention including patient education materials, a caries risk assessment form, a 1-minute chair-side biofilm screening test, as well as treatment and prevention kits and an entire line of products for children. CariFree products combine the proven benefits of fluoride and xylitol, along with proprietary neutralizing pH+ technology.

The key to success is having a consistent system that identifies, treats, and validates the results of treatment. The folks from CariFree don?t want to see you out there trying to swim on your own. They are committed to CAMBRA implementation, and they have created a 1- 2-3 implementation training system for everyone in the practice.

From the Podium

As I travel the country talking about risk-based dentistry, many professionals are excited about these ideas, but they are perplexed about how to get started. Everyone responds to innovation and change differently. Some are early adopters, some are late adopters, but most of us are average. Often, even with a high level of motivation, frustration with a new idea can make it seem easier to do what we have always done. Having a defined system can help get us to that next level. CariFree offers a system that can help us easily adapt to this new standard of care.

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