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The regular dental check-up - why every six months?


Although dentists in many developed countries recommend check-ups at six-month intervals, there are no high quality data to support this recommendation.

Dental health is an important part of a person’s overall health, and catching problems early can make treatment much easier to perform. The oral health of the population in many countries has improved dramatically over the last three decades. This fact, coupled with the cost of check-ups and the scarcity of dentists, means that it is appropriate to ask how often a person should be seen.

Reviewing the best available data led the Cochrane Authors to conclude that there is not enough evidence to draw any conclusions regarding the potential effects, good or bad, of altering the recall interval between dental check-ups.

“There is insufficient evidence to support or refute the practice of encouraging patients to attend for dental check-ups at six-monthly intervals,” says the review’s lead author Dr Paul Beirne, of the University Dental School and Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland.

The authors say that their work highlights the need for further research into this issue.

Julia Lampam | alfa
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