CAMBRA project seeks volunteers for research network

The CDA Foundation and the UCSF School of Dentistry are attempting to alter the way dentists prevent caries through a practice-based clinical trial, and volunteers are needed.

The Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) Practice-Based Research Network, which is led by Principal Investigator Peter Rechmann, DDS, PhD, and John Featherstone, MSc, PhD, dean of the UCSF School of Dentistry, formalizes the process to assess a patient’s risk for caries by examining various health and lifestyle factors as part of their regular dental checkup.

To improve the delivery of oral health care and prevention programs, the CDA Foundation and UCSF, through support from the DentaQuest Institute, are looking to expand an already established research network, which focuses on the implementation of CAMBRA. Dental practices enrolled in the network will contribute to research on the efficacy of aggressive nonsurgical interventions and home care, and how this practice is perceived by dentists, staff and patients. 

The network practices will assist in identifying barriers and challenges to full implementation of CAMBRA protocols with regard to patient adherence to the prescribed interventions, time commitment of dentists and staff and impact this practice philosophy has had on their practice. Findings will inform and support efforts of various groups nationally, including payers, who are attempting to establish risk-based models in practice.

What is expected from each participating dentist:

  • attend a full-day lecture/workshop (at least one staff member is required to attend) with topics including CAMBRA, clinical trials and human subject research and data collection;
  • attend a half-day calibration session on identifying and classifying white spots;
  • host the principal investigator and project director for approximately a half day in your practice to review all study protocols prior to enrolling patients;
  • commit to following study protocols on enrolled patients and prescribing only products provided by the study;
  • commit to enrolling approximately 30 patients and following up for two years; and
  • attend quarterly network meetings to discuss successes and challenges with your peers.

What the study will provide to participants:

  • all products and usage instructions to provide to patients, packaged and wrapped for blinding;
  • all testing materials required by the protocol (CariScreen meter and swabs, saliva collection tubes, etc.); and
  • $100 per patient enrolled per year.

“This is a very exciting opportunity to participate in clinical research in your own practice and contribute to the evidence supporting CAMBRA,” said CDA Foundation Chair Don Rollofson, DMD.

An information session will be held for all interested practitioners once recruitment goals are reached. A poll of all interested practices will be conducted for availability. Dentists will learn more about the study and hear from practitioners already participating.

The CDA Foundation has assisted the CAMBRA research project throughout its development stages. With the support of a grant received from UnitedHealthcare, for example, the project partners were able to develop the study’s protocols and recruit dentists in private and public practice to participate. The CDA Foundation has supported the CAMBRA approach through past events as well. In early 2011, for example, the CDA Foundation hosted a CAMBRA Symposium in San Francisco. The symposium gathered a wide range of stakeholders within dentistry. Representatives from universities, third-party payers, private and public practice and philanthropy were among the speakers.

Those interested in receiving a full project overview for more information can contact Rolande Tellier Loftus, program director, at Rolande@tellierassociates.com or Peter Rechmann, DDS, PhD, at RechmannP@DENTISTRY.UCSF.edu.

For more information on CAMBRA and the efforts of the CDA Foundation, visit cdafoundation.org/CAMBRA.