Dental Risk Assessment
Dental Risk Assessment
Dental Caries is the bacterial infection that causes cavities. This infection occurs when the oral environment is out of balance due to risk factors for the infection and an increase in cavity-causing bacteria. Caries Risk Assessment helps both you and pediatric dentist identify if your child has a risk of experiencing decay in the future and if potential measures can be taken to reduce risk. Dental Caries Risk Assessment is recommended by the ADA, CDA, FDA, Eastern and Western CAMBRA Coalitions, Western Regional Examining Board, and is taught in the majority of dental schools.
We offer the following Dental Risk Assessment & Prevention Plans
|Select Your Plan (Annual)||Basic||Premium||Platinum|
|What do you get?|
|Specialist Pediatric Consultation||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cavities Risk Assessment||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Laser Cavity Detection||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dental Diet Counselling||–||Yes||Yes|
|Oral Hygiene Intructions||–||Yes||Yes|
|Discount on Other Treatment||–||–||15%|
Buy Your Plan & Make an Appointment
Q: Why should I choose to be screened to determine my risk?
A: Screening for the bacterial infection through saliva check and plaque coverage allows your child and the pediatric dentist to identify if there are high numbers of cavity-causing bacteria in the oral biofilm. If high plaque coverage and low salivary pH are found, the pediatric dentist can recommend antibacterial treatment options. It is possible to have a current cavity and a low screening result, as well as have no current cavities and a high screening result. Bacterial screening is the best indicator of future decay and is not used to assist in diagnosing current decay. It can also act as a baseline test to see if treatment recommendations are working when your child are retested at recall appointments.
Q: How do dietary habits affect my caries risk?
A: Dietary habits affect the balance within the oral environment. In many cases, simple dietary habit changes can be the least expensive option and extremely effective in reducing caries risk.
Q: What are risk factors?
A: Risk factors are important as they are indicators of potential for future decay. The modification of risk factors is an important part of managing caries risk.
Q: Why is “plaque build-up on my child’s teeth” a risk factor?
A: Although not all dental plaque is cavity-causing, regular build-up of plaque between brushings is an indicator of excessive bacterial load and is a risk factor for decay.
Q: Why are the medications my child take important?
A: It is important that you share all medications and dietary supplements or vitamins they take with their pediatric dentist, whether over-the-counter or prescription. Thousands of over-the-counter and prescription medications can cause a reduction in saliva (dry mouth/xerostomia), the body’s natural protection mechanism for the teeth. Medication induced dry mouth can have a severely negative effect on the oral environment and increase the potential for future decay.
Q: How does drinking and snacking between meals affect my child’s risk?
A: Every time we eat or drink the pH in our mouth becomes acidic. The more often we eat and drink, the more often the pH is acidic in our mouth, giving the cavity-causing bacteria an opportunity to thrive. Below is a graph showing the differences between two individuals’ dietary habits. At a pH below 5.5 our teeth begin to demineralize and cavity-causing bacteria begin to take over our biofilm.
Q: How can dry mouth increase my child’s risk?
A: Saliva is the body’s natural defense against cavity causing bacteria. Saliva neutralizes the pH of the mouth when the environment becomes acidic and it contains the necessary nano-particles of calcium and phosphate that help rebuild teeth and keep them healthy. Inadequate saliva flow (xerostomia) can dramatically increase your child’s risk for future decay.
Q: What is an oral appliance and how does it affect my risk?
A: Oral appliances are braces, night guards, bleaching trays, ortho retainers, and partial dentures. An oral appliance reduces saliva exposure to the teeth and creates artificial areas that are hard to clean and allow bacteria to thrive.
Q: What are disease indicators?
A: Disease indicators are the symptoms of the caries infection (they include new/progressing visible cavitations, new/progressing approximal radiographic radiolucencies, new/active white spot lesions, and decay history is a concern). If disease indicators are present, studies show it is the number one indication of risk for future decay.
Q: What is a saliva pH and plaque disclosing solution test?
A: Saliva-Check BUFFER is a saliva-testing examination tool that is used to educate parents, assist in preventive treatment planning and properly select dental materials in order to initiate changes in the your child’s oral hygiene. This product plays a significant role in maintaining oral health. It identifies measures and assesses your child’s saliva condition, which helps determine the body’s possible risk of caries. It is also helpful for testing hydration, salivary consistency, resting saliva pH, stimulated saliva flow, stimulated saliva pH and saliva buffering capacity.
To use disclosing tablets, first brush and floss. Then simply chew a disclosing tablet, swish it around your mouth, and rinse with water. We use a small dental mirror to check your teeth for any signs of red, especially near the gumline.
Q: How does the risk identification take place?
A: The pediatric dentist will assess the three main areas of caries risk assessment: presence of risk factors, presence of disease indicators, and salivary pH/plaque coverage. Based on these elements, a diagnosis from low to high/extreme risk will be established. If your child is diagnosed with cavities will also need to promptly have restorations performed to remove the areas of bacterial infection that have caused decay.
Q: What happens if my child is identified as high risk?
A: Based on the diagnosed risk category, your child would be further evaluated for any cavitated lesions by IOPA X-ray. Based on the findings, we would approach your treatment at two interventions- Home And Clinical/professional. Both are equally important for successful treatment of your child. Once treatment is completed, your child would be placed on follow-up and the risk category would again be evaluated at next recall.
Q: What will I have to do during treatment?
A: Prepare your child well for the visit. Most importantly, identify the key areas in lifestyle which led to the diseases. Often a simple change in the product regimen used at home, including oral rinses and toothpastes/gels, is all that is necessary for treatment. Occasionally other products such as mouth sprays and gum will be recommended. The pediatric dentist will also likely suggest an in-office fluoride treatment as recommended by the AAPD.
Q: How long will treatment last?
A: Treatment time varies from child to child and the most important factor is how well your child adheres to the treatment program outlined by the pediatric dentist. In some cases, your child may also need to reduce risk factors by changing dietary habits, making changes to medication usage (if possible), and/or add more products to their treatment regimen. If a your child fully adheres to the pediatric dentist’s treatment recommendations, treatment times vary from 3-6 months depending on the number and severity of risk factors.
Q: How will I know if treatment has been successful?
A: When a your child has a better scores with salivary pH, less or no plaque coverage, no new lesion on clinical and radiographic examination, that means you and your child has modified all possible risk factors, and has no disease indicators, treatment has been successful and a maintenance.