Cost Effectiveness of Dental Exam Frequency

Extending recall intervals-effect on resource consumption and dental health

Wang N, Marstrander P, Holst D, Ovrum L, Dahle T

Institute of Community Dentistry, Dental Faculty, Oslo, Norway.

The dental health of children has improved in recent years. This has stimulated more flexible planning and implementation of public dental care programs. The aim of the study was to compare time required for dental care and changes in dental health over a 2-yr period for patients examined and treated every 12 months and patients examined and treated every 24 months. The material comprised 185 children aged 3, 16 and 18 yr. Children with high caries prevalence were not included in the material. Time used for examination and treatment and dental health parameters were recorded. The data were analyzed using multiple linear regression analysis. Mean time used for examinations and mean total time used by the dental health service over the 2-yr period were significantly less for patients examined every 24 months than for patients examined every 12 months, while the treatment times did not differ between the groups. The longer recall interval was associated with greater DMFS increment but this was not statistically significant. The study indicates that the dental health service in Norway could save resources, i.e. increase the productivity in the short term by extending the intervals between examinations.

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1992 Jun;20(3):122-4

PMID: 1623701, UI: 92323884