Cavity Risk Assessment

Cigna Dental Cavity Risk Assessment Tool


Tooth decay (often referred to as cavities) is the single most common chronic childhood disease. In fact, it's five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.1 Also, many adults have untreated cavities (e.g., 27% of those 20-39 years, 21% of those 40-59 years, and 19% of those 60 years and older).2


This risk assessment tool is designed to help you and your dentist identify factors that might increase your risk for cavities. Take the quiz by clicking on the link below and share the results with your dentist at your next dental check-up.


Please note that this tool serves to provide a guideline as to your risk for cavities. It is important to visit your dentist on a regular basis and discuss your oral health.


Take the Quiz



1 Source: Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health in America;
2 www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/factsheets/dental_caries

References:
"Policy on Use of a Caries-risk Assessment Tool (CAT) for Infants, Children, and Adolescents" American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Council on Clinical Affairs.
"Assessing patients' caries risk." Journal of the American Dental Association. Margherita Fontana, DDS, Phd; Domenick T. Zero, DDS, MS. September 2006, Vol. 137, pgs. 1231-1239.
"Caries Management by Risk Assessment: Consensus Statement, April 2002" Journal of the California Dental Association.
John D.B. Featherstone, MSc, PhD, et. al. March 2003, Vol. 31, No. 3, pgs. 257-269.


 


Patient Name: Age: Date:



Question and Facts about Dental Health

 

For Adults and Children:


How often do you visit your dentist ?
Regular dental visits allow the dentist to help prevent and/or treat tooth decay at an earlier stage

How often do you brush your teeth each day ?
Frequent tooth brushing is an important part of protecting your teeth from cavities. The American Dental Association suggests brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste3

How often do you floss between your teeth ?
Use of dental floss or other special types of cleaners between your teeth also helps to prevent tooth decay. It is recommended that you floss at least once a day.

Do you use fluoride toothpaste ?
Using toothpaste that contains fluoride helps to reduce the risk for cavities.

Have you had cavities in the past ?
Patients who have had cavities in the past are more likely to have them in the future.

How long has it been since your last cavity ?
Development of new or recent cavities indicates active disease and potential for more cavities.

How many times daily do you eat sugary foods (such as candy, soda, cookies, cake, or juice) between meals ?
Sugary foods and drinks increase acid production by bacteria that causes cavities. That doesn't mean that you can never enjoy these types of foods; but you should limit sugary foods and drinks between meals to reduce additional acid exposure to your teeth.

Do you wear braces, orthodontic appliances, or partial dentures ?
Wearing braces, appliances, and/or partial dentures may trap plaque on your teeth and also makes it difficult to brush and floss which increases your risk for tooth decay.

Does your mouth often feel dry (not enough saliva) ?
A dry mouth makes a person more prone to cavities. If you have a dry mouth, please ask your dentist about ways to increase the moisture in your mouth.

Do you have special health care needs, especially, any which limit your ability to care for your teeth and gums ?
People with special health care needs may require assistance to maintain their oral health.

Do you use chewing gum, mints, or other products that contain Xylitol ?
Clinical studies have shown that regular use of products containing Xylitol, a natural sweetener may actually help to reduce cavities.

Have you had sealants placed on your teeth ?
Dental sealants are placed on teeth with deep grooves and pits to prevent decay. Consult with your dentist to see if sealants are appropriate for you or your child.

3 Source: www.ada.org;





Additional Questions for Children Under the age of 12.


Does the child's parent, primary caregiver, or siblings have cavities ?
Children have an increased risk for cavities if their parents, caregiver, and/or siblings have them.

Does the child sleep with a baby bottle that contains milk or juice ?
Baby bottle syndrome occurs when a baby is allowed to sleep with a bottle filled with any liquid that contains any form of sugar. Milk, fruit juice, and soda contain sugar that can cause a baby's teeth to decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends avoiding nursing children to sleep with anything other than water in their bedtime bottle4.

Does the child live in a community that has fluoridated water ?
Drinking water that contains fluoride helps to protect teeth from tooth decay.

Does the child take fluoride supplements or use fluoride rinses ?
Fluoride supplements may be prescribed for children living in areas with little or no water fluoridation to prevent cavities.

4 Source: www.aapd.org;




please print this page and share it with your dentist at your next dental check-up


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Patient Name: Age: Date: Score:
 
Low Risk
-10 to 0
Low to Moderate Risk
1 to 5
Moderate Risk
6 to 10
High Risk
11 or greater
 
How often do you visit your dentist ?
Regular dental visits allow the dentist to help prevent and/or treat tooth decay at an earlier stage
How often do you brush your teeth each day ?
Frequent tooth brushing is an important part of protecting your teeth from cavities. The American Dental Association suggests brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste3
How often do you floss between your teeth ?
Use of dental floss or other special types of cleaners between your teeth also helps to prevent tooth decay. It is recommended that you floss at least once a day.
Do you use fluoride toothpaste ?
Using toothpaste that contains fluoride helps to reduce the risk for cavities.
Have you had cavities in the past ?
Patients who have had cavities in the past are more likely to have them in the future.
How long has it been since your last cavity ?
Development of new or recent cavities indicates active disease and potential for more cavities.
How many times daily do you eat sugary foods (such as candy, soda, cookies, cake, or juice) between meals ?
Sugary foods and drinks increase acid production by bacteria that causes cavities. That does not mean that you can never eat these types of foods; but you should limit eating sugary foods and drinks particularly between meals to reduce additional acid exposure to your teeth.
Do you wear braces, orthodontic appliances, or partial dentures ?
Wearing braces, appliances, and/or partial dentures may trap plaque on your teeth and also makes it difficult to brush and floss which increases your risk for tooth decay.
Does your mouth often feel dry (not enough saliva) ?
A dry mouth makes a person more prone to cavities. If you have a dry mouth, please ask your dentist about ways to increase the moisture in your mouth.
Do you have special health care needs, especially, any which limit your ability to care for your teeth and gums ?
People with special health care needs may require assistance to maintain their oral health.
Do you use chewing gum, mints, or other products that contain Xylitol ?
Clinical studies have shown that regular use of products containing Xylitol, a natural sweetener may actually help to reduce cavities.
Have you had sealants placed on your teeth ?
Dental sealants are placed on teeth with deep grooves and pits to prevent decay. Consult with your dentist to see if sealants are appropriate for you or your child.

Does the child's parent, primary caregiver, or siblings have cavities ?
Children have an increased risk for cavities if their parents, caregiver, and/or siblings have them.
Does the child sleep with a baby bottle that contains milk or juice ?
Baby bottle syndrome occurs when a baby is allowed to sleep with a bottle filled with any liquid that contains any form of sugar. Milk, fruit juice, and soda contain sugar that can cause a baby's teeth to decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends avoiding nursing children to sleep with anything other than water in their bedtime bottle4.
Does the child live in a community that has fluoridated water ?
Drinking water that contains fluoride helps to protect teeth from tooth decay.
Does the child take fluoride supplements or use fluoride rinses ?
Fluoride supplements may be prescribed for children living in areas with little or no water fluoridation to prevent cavities.
 

Source:
1Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health in America;
2 www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/factsheets/dental_caries; 3 www.ada.org;
4 www.aapd.org

 

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