Course Preview

  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assisting
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Zameera Fida, DMD
Peer Reviewer(s): Elena Francisco, RDH, RDHAP, MSDH
Item#: L0794
Contents: 1 Course Book (42 pages)
Sign up for the Western Schools 365 Online Membership
Online Access to all our dental CE courses for a full year!

Pediatric Oral Health: Early Childhood Caries and Chronic Disease Management

Price $29.95
Item # L0794
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: November 11, 2016

Expiration Date: November 10, 2019


Dental caries continues to be a chronic, infectious disease that may affect a person throughout his or her lifetime. Early childhood caries, a severe form of dental caries affecting infants and very young children, is the most prevalent disease of childhood. Among the objectives of Healthy People 2020 is the aim to reduce all decay in young children’s primary teeth.

Dental caries is a complex disease process with multifactorial etiology. Evidence-based management of the disease process involves shifting the balance between the protective factors (remineralization) and destructive factors (demineralization) toward remineralization of the enamel surface. Until recently, the standard of care was to provide restorative treatment once carious lesions manifested on or within the tooth. It is now accepted that surgical treatment alone falls short because it fails to address the underlying disease etiology. Dental professionals need to take an active role in the prevention and management of early childhood caries.

The purpose of this basic-level course is to review the epidemiology, etiology, and risk factors of early childhood caries in children. The focus is on prevention and management techniques for early childhood caries and on identifying the roles that dental professionals can play within the context of a chronic disease management model for care of patients with early childhood caries.




AGD Subject Code: 430

Western Schools designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits.


Course Objectives

  • Explain the epidemiology of early childhood caries (ECC).
  • Discuss the etiology of ECC.
  • Identify the risk factors associated with ECC.
  • Explain the clinical manifestations of ECC.
  • Discuss the chronic disease management of ECC.


Zameera Fida, DMD, is the director of Predoctoral Pediatric Dentistry at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) and a full-time staff member at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is board certified by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. She received a BS in nutritional sciences from the University of Florida, where she conducted research analyzing the growth and diet of pediatric HIV patients. Dr. Fida received her DMD from HSDM, where her research involved the nutritional intake of children with and without severe early childhood caries. She received her certificate in pediatric dentistry from Boston Children’s Hospital, where her research focused on caries and adolescents’ intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. She is the course director and lecturer for the “Treatment of the Child and Adolescent” course at HSDM, which contains a comprehensive curriculum for dental students on managing patients – including those with special healthcare needs – throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Dr. Fida is a reviewer for Pediatric Dentistry and Journal of Dental Education and is a member of the American Dental Association, American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and Massachusetts Dental Society. Her current research interests include trauma, dental education, and caries prevention.


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’s Arthur A. 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 and is a cofounding member of the Oral Health Awareness Society and a 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.