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J Public Health Dent. 2005 Spring;65(2):76-81.

Validation of a simple approach to caries risk assessment.

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Sheps Center, Ste. 200, 725 Airport Rd., Chapel Hill, NC, 27514, USA.



This study examined the predictive validity of a simple subjective method promoted to dentists for assessing their patients' caries risk.


Data from two large group practices that have used guideline-assisted caries risk assessment (CRA) for several years were analyzed retrospectively to determine the receipt of caries-related treatment following a CRA. Patient age and receipt of caries preventive treatment subsequent to the CRA were control variables in logistic regressions to determine the likelihood of caries-related treatment for low, moderate, and high risk groups.


Among 45,693 individuals in the two plans, those categorized as being at high caries risk were approximately four times as likely to receive any caries-related treatment as those categorized as being at low caries risk. Those categorized as at moderate risk were approximately twice as likely to receive any treatment. In addition, for those at elevated risk who required any treatment, the number of teeth requiring treatment was larger.


The results of this study provide the first large-scale, generalizable evidence for the validity of dentists' subjective assessment of caries risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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