When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Expiration Date: July 4, 2019
Dental caries is a preventable disease that affects a majority of the population. Statistics show the increase in caries incidence over time, making it important for dental professionals to develop strategies for determining caries risk and counseling patients to reduce risk and a future of dental caries. This course identifies the factors necessary for caries development including microorganisms and dental plaque, susceptible tooth surfaces, diet, and time/frequency. The American Dental Association's recommendations for oral hygiene are presented.
The impact of nutrition on the caries process is known in the dental field, but dental professionals need to continue to convey the importance of this relationship to patients. At-risk patients are identified through patient nutritional assessment and appropriate diet changes for caries prone patients are recommended. The course identifies the factors that influence patient diet choices including food availability and convenience, parental influence, habit, cost, and media. Personalized patient care and education to decrease incidence of caries are discussed.
Working as partners with patients, dental professionals can aid in the prevention of dental caries and help maintain patients’ overall health by offering nutritional counseling and behavior modification techniques. The incidence of caries in the United States could decrease significantly as dental professionals implement the advances available for early caries detection, recommend anti-caries treatments, and offer nutritional analysis and counseling. This basic-level course is intended to equip all members of the dental team with the skills needed to realize this overriding goal.
AGD Subject Code: 258
Western Schools designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits.
- Describe the caries process and methods for its detection.
- List the oral care habits recommended by the American Dental Association.
- Assess the dietary choices that affect individual caries risk.
- Identify the factors that influence patient diets.
- Recognize populations at increased risk for caries.
- Describe caries prevention products and procedures.
- Explain the use of personalized patient care and nutritional counseling to decrease incidence of caries.
Elena Francisco, RDH, RDHAP, MSDH, received her bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene from Loma Linda University and her master’s degree in dental hygiene education from Idaho State University. She is currently an adjunct clinical instructor in dental hygiene at Carrington College in Sacramento, California. Prior to joining the faculty at Carrington College, Ms. Francisco was a clinical instructor in dental hygiene at the University of the Pacific Arthur Dugoni School of Dentistry, where she served as a CAMBRA resource for dental hygiene students. A licensed registered dental hygienist and registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, Ms. Francisco has practiced dental hygiene in California for more than 40 years. She has coauthored several journal articles on dental hygienists’ knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors regarding caries risk assessment and management. Ms. Francisco has been a member of the statewide Task Force on Oral Health for People with Special Needs, cofounding member of the Oral Health Awareness Society, and member of a local task force whose goal is to reduce early childhood caries. She volunteers dental hygiene services to the dentally underserved in California.
- Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
- You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
- Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
- All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
- There are no prerequisites for this course.