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Policy Center Releases Technical Brief on Caries Risk Assessment

May 2012 Volume XLVIII Number 3

techbriefThe AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center is pleased to announce the publication of a technical brief: "Considerations for Caries Risk Assessment in an Essential Health Benefits Dental Plan for Children," which provides an overview of the current research on caries risk assessment, and its potential to improve its use in clinical care of children. Recommendations and consideration related to the use of caries risk assessment in an essential dental benefits plan are discussed as they relate to current scientific evidence is reviewed.

Summary: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry supports the concept of caries risk assessment, and acknowledges that scientific advances have been made to improve its use in clinical care of children. However, the Academy also recommends that an essential dental benefits plan clearly define the role of caries risk assessment and provide compelling scientific evidence of its benefit to the oral health of children. Caries risk assessment must be broadly defined beyond the biologic parameters of the classic caries model. At this time, the Academy encourages more study to gather evidence to support clinical application of caries risk assessment in any plan. To date, no existing instrument can ensure accurate categorization of children by risk or predict future caries experience through its application in clinical practice. Without good science and its thoughtful application, both children and the clinicians who serve them are placed in jeopardy.

To view the full technical brief, visit: http://www.aapd.org/policycenter/pdf/RiskBasedTechBrief.pdf.
For more information, please contact Policy Center Assistant Director Jan Silverman at jsilverman@aapd.org.

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