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Work begins on assessment tool that can alert dentist to increased caries risk

February 13, 2017

By Michelle Manchir

Dr. Carey
Dental professionals with practical and specific knowledge about caries risk assessment are encouraged to join a working group with ADA Standards Committee volunteers who are developing a standardized predictive caries risk assessment tool.
Proposed ADA Standard No. 1097 for Digital Caries Risk Assessment Resources will provide resources for standardized clinical input, scoring methodology and reporting formats that will facilitate the interchange of caries risk assessment data among stakeholders. Currently in the U.S., there is considerable variation among both analog and digital caries risk assessment tools, according to Clifton Carey, Ph.D., chair of the working group and professor and director of translational research at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine.
"The essential goal will be the development of a standardized predictive caries risk assessment tool that can alert the dentist to the presence of an increased caries risk," Dr. Carey said. "The tool will be based on the best evidence available, expert opinion and existing caries risk assessment tools so that it will be robust and useable by dental professionals to provide the best care for their patients."
Individuals from academia and private practice, along with caries risk assessment tool developers, public health professionals and others with an interest in the development of a standardized method for assessing caries risk, are encouraged to join the working group, which requires attendance at one meeting per year in Chicago along with time for reading drafts and communicating electronically about them prior to meetings.
Dr. Carey said work on the standard is expected to be complete by October 2019.
For information on participating in the ADA Standards Committee working group developing this document, email
The ADA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop American National Standards, such as the proposed digital caries risk assessment standard, and technical reports for products and information technology used by the dental profession and by consumers.  

National standards developed by ADA aim to serve the dental profession by ensuring product safety and efficacy for both clinician and patient and by providing information on new and emerging technologies.

For more information about ADA-developed dental standards, visit