Font resize Email Print

Mobile App Helps Dentists Assess Caries Risk

September 3, 2013

The CAMBRA (CAries Management By Risk Assessment) model, developed at the UCSF School of Dentistry by Dean John D.B. Featherstone and colleagues, is a reliable scientific procedure to identify caries (cavities) risk and prevent further caries, and now MyCAMBRA - a new iOS app for iPhones and iPads designed jointly by Drs Peter Rechmann, Richard Kinsel, and Dean Featherstone - enables dental professionals to quickly and easily assess a patient's caries risk.

Perhaps more importantly, the app communicates the assessment to patients clearly and effectively, and engages the patient in an ongoing remediation of of the caries problem.

Risk and remediation fall into four major categories:

  • Low Risk: Cariogenic bacteria are in check, and the patient is healthy. Promote daily maintenance to keep caries risk low.
  • Moderate Risk: Elevated caries risk is present and requires preventive treatment to avoid a frustrating cycle of drill and fill.
  • High Risk: Intense, focused, preventive treatment is required to reduce cariogenic bacteria and lower the caries risk. Chance of new cavities is high. 
  • Extremely High Risk: Caries is a serious health problem. Aggressive preventive treatment is required to halt the disease and preserve existing teeth.

MyCAMBRA promotes dialogue and allows dental professionals to share health literacy information emphasizing the bacterial causes of caries, promoting better self-care strategies, and delivering a custom care plan targeted to the patient’s caries risk level. An interactive "Risk Meter" presents the assessed risk and the expected effects of treatment graphically, with easy-to-understand treatment instructions, and an ongoing documentation of progress encourages the patient’s continued involvement.  HIPAA compliance is assured, using patient-specific encryption.

Dean Featherstone describes MyCAMBRA as a step into the new world of precision medicine, with CAMBRA taking hold in dental practices around the world.

Created in joint partnership between the UCSF School of Dentistry and Firsthand Technology, the MyCAMBRA app is available from the iTunes store and at, for iPhones 4 and 5, and for all iPads.

Possible future enhancements to the app are being considered, such as location services that could direct patients to MyCAMBRA-certified dentists.


MyCAMBRA website