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2020 Rourke Baby Record & The Canadian Caries Risk Assessment Tool for Pre-Schoolers

The Office of the Chief Dental Officer of Canada (OCDOC) initiated a caries risk assessment project, and commissioned Dr. Robert Schroth’s team at the University of Manitoba in 2017. The goal of the project was to comprehensively explore and report on the global body of evidence on caries risk assessment in pre-schoolers.

From that evidence base, they developed a caries risk assessment tool that would allow non-dental primary health care providers and oral health care providers in non-traditional clinical settings to assess the risk of (and take defined action upon) tooth decay in children under the age of six.

In March 2018, the OCDOC convened a landmark inter-professional knowledge stakeholders meeting of experts and potential professional users to discuss the findings of the University of Manitoba team’s initial report on their systematic review of the literature, their global review of existing tools, and an initial draft version of a Canadian caries risk assessment tool for pre-schoolers. Participants included knowledge representatives of the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Canadian Academy of Paediatric Dentistry, and the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry. Knowledge representatives from the Canadian Dental Association, Canadian Dental Hygienists Association, Canadian Dental Assistants Association, Canadian Dental Therapists Association, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Canadian Dental Regulatory Authorities Federation and the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry participated as observers.

Dr. Schroth’s team further refined the Tool by testing it with primary healthcare providers. Pilot tests were conducted at wellness fairs and focus groups were undertaken with various health professional groups. Participants in the focus groups included nurses and nurse practitioners, family physicians, pediatricians, dieticians, social workers, dental hygienists and dentists. The OCDOC then re-convened the original stakeholders group in November 2018 to consider and discuss the proposed final version of the Tool, which was then endorsed by the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. It has now also been included as an integral element of the 2020 update of the Rourke Baby Record. Further validation research on the Tool, funded by the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, is currently being conducted by Dr. Schroth’s team; the results are expected to be published by Fall 2021.

The Tool is linked within the 2020 Rourke Baby Record, and is available here:

ENGLISH: CRA_Tool_ENG_Version.pdf
FRANÇAIS: CRA_Tool_FR_version_with_logos.pdf

OCDOC Mandate: to advance population-level oral health through health promotion, disease prevention and professional/technical guidance with an emphasis on vulnerable populations.


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