CAMBRA, ONE BITE AT A TIME
one bite at a time
To eat the elephant of
caries management, swallow
after each bite
B Y PATTI DIGANGI, RDH, BS
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. We all know the saying, but we often
fail to apply this lesson in our lives. If you view the elephant as one giant goal, you’re
setting yourself up for disappointment. Why not enjoy the bites along the way?
CAMBRA is the elephant in the room. You’ve read about it, and taken a course here
and there that talks about it. Yet, you still don’t know where to start to incorporate it
routinely into your practice. So let’s make it simple and take three small bites to start.
BELIEVE IN A CARIES-FREE WORLD
Dentistry, particularly through the efforts of a hard-working dental hygienist like you,
has made amazing strides in assisting patients to become healthier. At the same time,
none of us have seen a patient with “too much” health. That almost sounds silly. We
know there are levels of health just as there are levels of disease. CAMBRA seeks to
create higher levels of health, not just the absence of disease.
The CAMBRA philosophy can best be summed up by the World Federation of
Dentistry Vision 2020—to create a caries-free world. Sounds impossible? That is
exactly the crux of the change needed to implement CAMBRA, the belief that a caries-free