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.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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