Hello, and welcome to dentalcare.com Cariology Series. This session focuses on risk assessment. This is part 10 of a 10-part series entitled Caries Process and Prevention Strategies. This course introduces the dental professional to risk terminology and methods for identifying caries causing factors and assessing a patient's risk for developing dental caries. It also outlines a risk protocol that can be used with patients. First, a couple of clinical significance snapshots or questions that might come up in your practice, such as what's the point of undertaking risk assessment for a patient? Isn't everyone who has natural teeth at risk of dental caries?
Well, dental caries is a preventable disease. For years, it's been treated after cavitation [inaudible] by restorative needs. Typically, the patient returned later with new lesions and required more restoration. Rather than dealing with all patients in the same way, the process of risk assessment can help identify those patients who are at higher risk of developing caries, and those who are at low risk. In making this differentiation, preventive efforts can be focused on the high-risk group so that their risk is reduced and caries reduced or avoided altogether. Having identified the risk factor in the high-risk group, a treatment cl-, plan can be designed to risk, to reduce the risk factors such as dietary modification, use of additional fluoride agents, et cetera.