In this section you will learn:
- How to do a quick risk assessment.
- How to screen the patient and identify tooth decay.
80% of early childhood caries occurs in 20% of children. Assessing a child's risk of developing caries helps you identify those patients that require extra time and services. This makes your practice more efficient and helps insure patients get what they need, whether minimal counseling or more extensive counseling, frequent applications of fluoride varnish, and dental referrals.
Early Oral Screenings
The objectives of the early oral screenings are to:
- Identify existing or potential problems for early referrals.
- Assess risk of potential problems.
- Determine needed anticipatory guidance for parents/caregivers.
- Determine the need for fluoride varnish.
Recommended Age for First Oral Screenings
All children should have their first oral screening by their first birthday. This recommendation is concurred by:
- American Academy of Pediatrics.
- American Academy of Family Physicians.
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Frequency of Screening
All children should be screened at least annually.