Dental recalls: effects of longer intervals between routine check-ups is uncertain

Added April 12, 2020

Citation: Riley P, Worthington HV, Clarkson JE, et al. Recall intervals for oral health in primary care patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013; (12): CD004346

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the suspension of many types of routine health and social care, including dental services in some countries. Research into the frequency of routine dental check-ups might help to show the consequences of longer intervals between check-ups.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for randomized trials of the effects of different intervals between dental check-ups (e.g. 6 versus 12 months), recalls based on the patient’s disease risk (as judged by the dentist) or patient initiated recalls (when a patient has symptoms and feels the need to see a dentist). They did not restrict their search by date or language of publication and did the search in September 2013. They found one closed trial (185 participants aged from 3 to 20 years) comparing a clinical examination every 12 months with a clinical examination every 24 months They also found one ongoing trial (the INTERVAL study).

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: There is insufficient evidence to determine how frequently patients should visit their dentist for a routine check-up.


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