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A reassessment of recall frequency intervals for screening in low caries incidence populations

Tan, EH; Batchelor, P; Sheiham, A; (2006) A reassessment of recall frequency intervals for screening in low caries incidence populations. INT DENT J , 56 (5) 277 - 282.

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Abstract

Objectives: To reassess the recall frequency interval for dental examinations for children, based on annual caries increments. Methods: Cross sectional data collected on school children in eight rural and urban schools through the national Incremental Dental Care Programme (IDCP) for one district in Malaysia were analysed to assess their annual caries increment and trend lines. The Restorative Index was calculated to assess the success of the IDCP in rendering children dentally fit. Results: The annual caries increments were low; the current caries levels were between 0.65 and 1.50 for 12 year-old children in Kota Tinggi District. Most of the caries experience was on pits and fissures. From 7 to 12 years old, the overall annual caries increment for the total study population was 0.19. The mean annual caries increment increased slightly between the ages of 12 to 14 years and 14 to 16 years and was 0.24 and 0.25 respectively. Two distinct caries incremental trend lines were observed for children aged 7 to 16 years. One group reached a mean DMFT of about 0.75 while the other group a mean DMFT of about 1.4 at 12 years. The trend lines continued over the next 4 years until the children were 16 years old. The Restorative Index was higher in urban schools that also had low DMFT levels. Conclusions: Based on the low annual caries increments of between 0.65 and 1.50, yearly dental examination intervals can safely be extended to 2-yearly intervals or even longer. Such a change of screening recall intervals would help improve resource allocation. Resources saved by extending recall intervals can be redirected to the small proportion of children with higher disease levels. This will help render more school children dentally fit and reduce inequalities in oral health.

Type: Article
Title: A reassessment of recall frequency intervals for screening in low caries incidence populations
Keywords: dental, recall intervals, caries, increments, CHILD DENTAL-CARE, APPROXIMAL CARIOUS LESIONS, PROGRESSION, ENAMEL, RADIOGRAPHY, HEALTH
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/42980
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