Caries Risk Profiling
Traditionally, cavities were treated as a stand-alone disease. Not a lot was understood about the causation and progress of cavities; and often patients returned to the dentist every few months with ‘new’ cavities!
Caries Risk Profiling is the practise of effective management of cavities by identifying individual patient risk of getting cavities. Various components of health (health/disease markers) are studied such as saliva, tooth nature, diet, water consumption pattern, stress levels, oral hygiene practises etc.
How does Risk profiling help?
With a greater understanding of how cavities are caused and their progression, risk profiling helps to plan customized treatment protocols for children and effectively manage cavities. Using evidence-based dental treatment protocols, cavities are better managed with an individual approach and the dental health is viewed from a macroscopic perspective of managing the patient (rather than just the tooth). Over time, patients appreciate an improvement in their attitudes towards dental health.
Based on Risk profiles, what modes of intervention are used to manage children with high cavity rates?
Depending on the risk profiling, children are grouped into high, moderate and low-risk categories. The idea here is to motivate children to be the guardians of their oral health. By making them stakeholders in Oral care and involving them positively, a behavioural change is brought about so that children look forward to healthy habits such as brushing, flossing and mouth-rinsing. In addition to this, various clinical modalities are used to prevent cavities such as –
- Fluoride application
- SDF-based prevention of cavity progression
- Saliva and Plaque Scoring
- Pit & Fissure Sealants
- Preventive Resin restorations
Ask us more on cavity prevention. We believe in the old adage – An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Suggested Reading – Caries Risk Assessment Tool