Cavities (cont.)

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What is CAMBRA?

CAMBRA stands for caries management by risk assessment. It is a method for assessing a person's risk for developing dental cavities and making dental treatment decisions and recommendations based on the patient's caries risk. The dentist performing CAMBRA will perform tests for oral bacteria and take X-rays. He will then determine the patient's level of caries risk by analyzing caries history, current caries condition, dietary habits, hygiene habits, prescription medications, salivary flow, and medical conditions. Treatment will then be tailored to the patient based on managing the risk factors through behavioral, chemical, and minimally invasive procedures. No two cavities are the same because no two people are the same. Thus, diagnosis and treatment planning requires risk assessment in addition to caries detection.

Treatment of cavities during pregnancy

Hormonal and bacterial quantity changes during pregnancy put pregnant women at greater risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease. Therefore, it is very important that pregnant women continue to get regular dental cleanings during pregnancy. Pregnant women have generally been counseled to avoid elective dental treatment during pregnancy unless they are experiencing an emergency like pain or infection. In this case, the second trimester is the best time for treatment to keep the expectant mother as comfortable as possible. Local anesthetics and other materials used during dental treatment don't increase risk to the fetus, but untreated oral disease has been shown to lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes. If X-rays are necessary, a protective apron will be placed over the woman's stomach and thyroid. If antibiotics are necessary, tetracycline should be avoided because it will cause staining in the baby's developing teeth.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/2/2014

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Dental Cavities - Treatment During Pregnancy Question: Are you afraid to undergo treatment for cavities during pregnancy?
Cavities - Treatment Question: Do you or your child get lots of cavities or have several fillings? Please discuss treatment, including sealants.
Cavities - Prevention Question: What steps do you take to prevent cavities?