What is P4 Dentistry and How Can it Work for You?


In keeping our mouth healthy and free from decay, it’s important for dental practitioners and patients to work together to assess, prevent, and treat dental caries disease. The P4 Model of dental care is a framework that helps patients and practitioners’ partner in creating optimal oral health for the patient. Let’s look at the P4 dentistry model to examine how this can work for you.

The Four P’s




4. Participatory


This is where we look for illnesses that may affect our oral health in order to prepare for the future. Looking at our current health to predict future health is the simplest way to determine outcomes. Genetic screenings may need to be performed and discussed with your healthcare provider. Looking for predictive factors means that everyone on your healthcare team is aware of possible outcomes and can be on the look out for issues.


The preventative and predictive steps here work together to avoid potential future issues. Once you and your team know what the future risks are, it’s easier to work towards preventing them. Potential problems may be avoided, and if not prevented, then hopefully caught early. Recognizing early signs of illnesses is a valuable skill for you and your team. Minimizing future health risks is an important tool, and one that can prevent minor issues from becoming major issues.


Tailoring your dental needs is the ideal way to prevent negative outcomes. You are an individual, which means your health requirements will also be individual. The P4 plan of taking the entire picture of your health and needs into consideration will provide the best outcome. Oral health is just as important as other medical care needs. Focusing on having strong and healthy teeth is the goal. Staying healthy, rather than drilling and filling, is a much easier position to be in. Having your team work with you on this is what they are there for.


Taking an active role in your health is imperative to your success. When you have a clear view of your caries risk and you and your team can agree on treatment plans together, you are more likely to succeed. Knowing how to prevent problems from developing and what measures you can take means you are part of the outcome you desire. Your dental health is as much—if not more—your responsibility than your dentist’s. You are capable of making educated choices about future treatment. Health care should not be something that feels separate from you, and this allows you to be an advocate and participant in your own oral health.

Caries Disease and the P4 Dentistry Model

The 4 P’s are here to help you prevent caries disease before it begins. Knowing the early signs of disease and genetic and behavioral factors helps us know if you are at risk of developing dental caries. Predictive factors help us decide which preventive steps to take. Having as much information at your fingertips means you are in charge of your own oral health. This will help you feel empowered, educated, and confident in what the future holds for you and your teeth.

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