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Eur J Oral Sci. 2007 Oct;115(5):384-9.

Routine oral examination: clinical performance and management by general dental practitioners in primary care.

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Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, College of Oral Sciences, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dentistry, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The aim of this clinical study was to explore the contents of routine oral examinations (ROE), carried out by Dutch general dental practitioners (GDPs), in relation to the oral health status of regularly attending patients. An observational study was performed, based on clinical case recording. Using The Data Station Project of the Dutch Dental Association as the study base, 215 GDPs were recruited, of whom 131 participated in the study. A clinical case-recording form was developed to document clinical behavior. The contents assessed concerned patient characteristics, contents of the ROE visit, diagnoses made, and clinical behavior in response to ROE findings. This study showed substantial variation in clinical behavior related to specific ROE domains, including patient history and record keeping, whereas GDPs acted consistently on other domains, such as clinical examination and recall length assessment. Furthermore, the ROE performance was more strongly associated with GDP characteristics than with patient characteristics. The mean ROE time was 10 min, and recall intervals were most frequently assigned at 6 months, irrespective of the oral condition. This study highlights a need for continuing education to promote risk-based oral screening. Further research is needed to identify factors responsible for the variation in GDP performance, just as research on clinical practice guideline implementation methods is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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