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PreViser caries risk assessment tool

March 1, 2011
PreViser’s caries risk assessment tool was designed with the clinician and patient in mind. John A. Martin, DDS, the Chief Science Officer of PreViser Corporation, discusses key characteristics of the tool.
By John A. Martin, DDS, Chief Science Officer, PreViser Corporation
PreViser’s caries risk assessment tool was designed with the clinician and patient in mind.
Key characteristics include scientific validity, simplicity, ease-of-use, immediate results, and applicability for a wide range of patient ages. An easily understandable digitized report is provided that facilitates patient acceptance and compliance with preventive treatment. Caries risk is calculated by a computer from a standard set of questions specific for a particular patient, which results in consistent and objective assessments. The tool automatically selects the correct risk assessment version based on patient age and tooth eruption. Each version contains 8 to 18 questions that are answered by a mouse click of a check box or multiple choices. Screen shots of three of the seven versions are shown in the accompanying figures.
Other than questions that are not part of a traditional examination or that require special tests, PreViser’s questions are essentially the same as those used or recommended by CAMBRA, CariFree, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. At this time no study has identified that a particular risk assessment method is valid or invalid. However, PreViser’s method incorporates all of the latest research on caries risk, and provides an objective and reproducible score that is as accurate as any method available from normal data collected during an examination.
As a companion to the caries risk score, PreViser is finalizing the release of a dentition score. The dentition score will calculate needs on a 1 to 100 scale and provides a macro view of restorative needs to the clinician, patient, or care giver. For adults, the dentition score will be supplemented with a prosthetic needs score which will provide an objective indication of probable replacement treatment required. The combination of caries risk and dentition and prosthetic needs scores provides a helpful means for clinicians and patients to understand current dental needs and the status of a dentition. While the caries risk score increases patient acceptance and compliance with preventive treatment, the dentition and prosthetic scores increase acceptance of reparative and prosthetic treatment. While PreViser has focused on developing tools for clinicians, it has recently released a consumer application that helps patients understand their probable oral care needs, with encouragement to visit a clinician to have those probable needs clinically validated. An example of the tool can be seen at This utility is available to dentists who wish to post it to their practice web sites for a nominal charge from PreViser. Additional information about PreViser’s clinical and consumer tools is available at

John A. Martin, DDS