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INTERVAL dental recalls trial


Traditionally, dentists recommended that patients attend every six months for a dental check-up. However, there is little evidence to either support or refute this recommendation and little evidence to advise dentists or patients about the best recall interval for the maintenance of oral health in adults.

SDPBRN supports and is a partner in the NIHR HTA funded INTERVAL study (project number 06/35/99). The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of three dental recall strategies by assessing their impact on maintaining adult oral health. The comparisons are:

  • 6 month recall interval
  • Risk based recall interval based on the patient’s risk of dental disease
  • 24 month recall interval

The research will be carried out in 50 general dental practices across the UK operating in a wide range of different circumstances and in fluoridated or non-fluoridated areas. A total of 2372 participants will be recruited to the Trial and randomised to one of the three comparison arms.

The primary outcome is measurement of disease (periodontal and caries) assessed at four years by blinded assessors.

Current status

Recruitment is closed. Intervention phase and data collection ongoing.

Joint chief investigators

Further details of INTERVAL are available on the University of Dundee, Dental Health Services Research Unit website.

Read the INTERVAL Spring 2015 (PDF) quarterly newsletter.

Internal link

Partner programmes