At Feilding Dental Centre we are implementing a new system of care to help us achieve this goal together. This system is called CAMBRA which stands for CAries Management By Risk Assessment.

Tooth decay is the end result of a bacterial infection. The (preventable) disease is called dental caries, and if left untreated results in cavities. Just placing fillings or repairing teeth does not in the long run stop the disease process. Oral health is relatively simple to attain and dental disease is not inevitable.

The bacteria responsible for tooth decay generate acids from the fermentable carbohydrates we eat and drink every day. These acids attack your teeth. The level of infection that causes damage to teeth is increased by multiple factors:

1. a large number of acid-producing bacteria
2. saliva of poor quality or quantity
3. unhealthy eating and drinking habits
4. ineffective or inadequate brushing and flossing

When several or all of the above factors are present, your teeth begin to lose minerals (calcium and phosphate) from the tooth surface. This process is called demineralisation. The earliest visible signs of demineralisation appear as white spots, in the enamel. When enough minerals are lost, the enamel collapses: this is then a cavity.

With the help of a standardised questionnaire and new examination criteria, we conduct a Caries Risk Assessment (CRA) that places you in a low, moderate or high risk category of developing caries. We then develop an evidence-based treatment plan that is specific to your oral health needs. This enables you to take charge of your oral health and become cavity-free. That is our aim for you.

As part of this care approach, we may amongst other measures, test your saliva, recommend different frequencies of exams, hygiene visits, radiographs (“x-rays”) and fluoride applications.

With CAMBRA, detection and treatment is focused not only on cavities but also on the pre-cavitated stages such as white spots for example. At this early stage, the use of Clinpro toothpaste (very high fluoride – “tooth medicine” ), chlorhexidine and (subject to no milk protein allergy) Tooth Mousse (calcium and phosphate) to aid remineralisation, can help prevent drilling and filling of teeth. We may also use other strategies to reduce bacteria. If a filling is needed, restoration can be accomplished using the most minimally invasive means possible.

The alternative is to ignore the disease and wait for cavities and problems to arise. However, tooth repairs and replacement parts do not come with lifetime guarantees. They are subject to breakdown, necessitating lifelong maintenance or replacement.

We have decided to implement CAMBRA in our practice because it has been scientifically proven to provide both optimal, and minimally invasive, oral health care for our patients. This is the standard of care we wish to promote.

In order to achieve this goal you do need to make the necessary lifestyle changes advised by us – this is an oral health partnership.