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Your Role as a Dentist

Oral screening or rapid examination of a child’s oral cavity takes 2- 3 minutes, which is ample time to identify decay, neglect, malocclusion or physical abuse.

As a dentist with CDC you have to be involved with the following:-

  • Participate in Preventive Strategies
  • Treatment at CDC
  • Counseling

Participate in Preventive Strategies

Primary Prevention

  • Initial and periodic examinations of the dentition and oral cavity.
  • Caries risk assessment (based on developmental, biological, behavioral, and environmental factors) evaluates the probability of enamel demineralization exceeding enamel remineralization over time. The goal of risk assessment is to anticipate and prevent caries initiation before the first sign of disease.
  • Caries-risk Assessment Tool (CAT) can be used to determine the patient’s relative risk for caries.
  • Risk indicator is to spot white spot lesions (precursor to cavities).

Secondary Prevention

  • Balance causative factors and protective factors. This is critical for preventing and reversing the caries process. Therefore, preventive modalities are – Modification of diet, followed by oral hygiene compliance and then administration of fluorides.
  • Caries removal - Removal of active caries and subsequent restoration are important to minimize infecting the infant with the parents’ oral flora.
  • Dental check-up
  • Pit and fissure sealants application (plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves and fissures of primary and permanent teeth) have been demonstrated to be effective (i.e., through periodic evaluation and reapplication, if necessary).
  • Topical anti-microbial agents –use of chlorhexidine gel along with fluorides has antibacterial properties.
  • Space maintenance and habit discontinuation appliances – Space maintainers are removable or fixed passive appliances designed to prevent tooth movement and generally are placed following the extraction of teeth or in cases of congenitally missing teeth. Habit discontinuation appliances are used to eliminate habits that can adversely affect the development of anatomical structures or functions such as speech (e.g., thumb sucking or oral finger habits).

At CDC provide for the following:-

  • Restoration of carious (decayed) permanent and primary teeth with materials and techniques that meet current accepted practices – e.g., plastic and metal fillings and stainless steel crowns;
  • Pulp therapy for permanent and primary teeth – e.g., root canal treatments;
  • Scaling to control gingival and periodontal diseases;
  • Maintenance of space for missing posterior primary and permanent teeth to prevent or minimize problems in eruption of permanent teeth – e.g., fixed and removable space maintainers;
  • Orthodontic treatment to correct mal-aligned teeth.


  • Counsel parents to wean infants from non-nutritive oral habits (eg, digit or pacifier sucking, bruxism, abnormal tongue thrust) which apply forces to teeth and dento alveolar structures resulting in malocclusion or skeletal dysplasias.
  • Injury prevention counseling for oro-facial trauma due to sports-related injuries. Use of protective equipment must be made mandatory.