North Berkeley Dental Arts
901 Ventura Ave
Berkeley, CA 94707
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CAries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA)
Many millions of dollars are spent each year on the physical treatment of dental decay, rather than on prevention and intervention. Dental decay is a disease caused by bacterial infection. We need to treat the disease rather than just the damage from the disease. Evidence shows we now must be thinking of more aggressive ways to deal with dental decay. There is enough information available now to do this.
A quick saliva sample taken from the patient will allow the dental provider to culture the acid producing “bad” bacteria. Bacterial concentrations at or above 100,000 colony-forming units categorize the individual as high risk for developing dental decay. Other factors such as active decay in the last year, frequent snacking of fermentable carbohydrates (more than 3 a day), and low saliva flow contribute to placement in the high-risk category. Fluoride treatment, antibacterial mouthwash, iodine disinfection, and xylitol gum, all help to shift the balance toward a healthier oral environment.
Transmission occurs from mother to child. Delaying or preventing infection by cavity forming bacteria reduces the risk for future dental cavities. All children are at risk for early colonization in the first 2 to 3 years of life. On this basis, it is recommended that pregnant women should have a dental exam and caries risk assessment during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Pregnant mothers who are high risk should receive aggressive dental care shortly after delivery of their child.
Our Office Protocol
We offer this new concept in the management of dental disease, which is now being initiated in dental school curriculums, to our patients. Analogous to a cholesterol test or blood pressure reading, the saliva test will tell us how to optimally treat your oral health as well as serve as a baseline marker for subsequent saliva tests to be compared and measured against. We can significantly reduce your decay risk and cavity formation. If found to be a high risk individual, we can tailor a preventive program utilizing fluoride, antibacterial mouthwashes for use at home, in office disinfection therapy, nutritional counseling, and oral hygiene instruction. It is no longer acceptable for providers to “drill, fill, and bill” cavities without first eliminating or controlling the cause and process of the disease. All providers at North Berkeley Dental Arts consider it our utmost priority to stay up to date on the latest techniques and concepts available to be able to deliver the best quality of care to you and your family.