Dental Hypotheses

: 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 70-

An insight to optimum time required for periodic checkup

H Mythri 
 Department of Community Dentistry, Sree Siddhartha Dental College, Tumkur, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
H Mythri
Department of Community Dentistry, Sree Siddhartha Dental College, Tumkur- 572 107, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Mythri H. An insight to optimum time required for periodic checkup.Dent Hypotheses 2013;4:70-70

How to cite this URL:
Mythri H. An insight to optimum time required for periodic checkup. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 Jan 23 ];4:70-70
Available from:

Full Text


"Humans are like a storage battery constantly discharging energy; and unless they are recharged at frequent intervals, they soon run dry." [1]

- Mac Anderson

This applies to recall system used in dental care and makes necessary to know the optimum time required for it.

Dentistry is the profession which has a recall system as a part of its routine function. The concept of recall is a part of the traditional way of dentistry in which, the population was told to visit their dentist twice a year and they will have good dental health. The modern concept of complete care is at variance with the traditional concept. [2]

The 6 month checkup is still in vogue but for some patients the 6 months has become 12 months or even longer. [3] As seen in the patient's definitions, some dentists wish patients to assume more responsibility for their own care, and many are willing for this. [2] Therefore, the responsibility for good dental health has been shifted from the provider to the consumer.

Few studies quoted that the optimal time interval for recall of persons ages 10-14 and 15-19 years for maintenance dental care is every 22-24 months and for person's ages 5-9 years, maintenance dental care is no less than every 10-12 months based on cost-effective analysis. [4],[5],[6]

The reasons for maintaining a recall system is not as clear as they once were. This is evident from examination of some of the influencing factors. In many localities, the demand for care far exceeds the available services. While maintaining a recall system under those circumstances can be justified on a moral and ethical basis, it may not be cost-effective for the dentist or care effective for the patient. [2]

Hence, still there is a dilemma between the group of people regarding the frequency of time required and few studies say it depends upon the disease progression of the individual. From the literature review [4],[5],[6],[7] it looks in private practice 6 months is the most common, though not the only interval between the visits and in public health programs 1-year intervals are usually employed.


1Anderson M. Quotes Available from: [Last cited on 2010 May 15].
2Boggs DG, Schork MA. Determination of optimal time lapse for recall of patients in an incremental dental care program. J Am Dent Assoc 1975;90:644-53.
3Sheiham A. Is there a scientific basis for six-monthly dental examinations? Lancet 1977;2:442-4.
4Bimstein E, Eidelman E, Chosack A. Chairtime needed for an incremental dental care program for schoolchildren in Israel. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1976;4:94-7.
5Tan EH, Batchelor P, Sheiham A. A reassessment of recall frequency intervals for screening in low caries incidence populations. Int Dent J 2006;56:277-82.
6Ahlberg J, Tuominen R, Murtomaa H. A 5-year retrospective analysis of employer-provided dental care for Finnish male industrial workers. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1997;25:419-22.
7Slack GL. Burt BA. Dental public health: an introduction to community dental health, 2 nd ed. J. Wright, Bristol, U.K.1981.