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J Fam Pract. 2017 Nov;66(11):699-700.

Clinical Inquiries: What is the optimal frequency for dental checkups for children and adults?

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University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Madison, WI, USA.
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Ebling Library, Madison, WI, USA.


IT IS UNCLEAR, but studies suggest that it should be based largely on individual risk. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a 6-month interval for preventive dental visits (strength of recommendation [SOR]: C, expert opinion), but a 24-month interval does not result in an increased incidence of dental caries in healthy children and young adults or increased incidence of gingivitis in healthy adults (SOR: B, a single randomized controlled trial [RCT]). In adults with risk factors (eg, smoking or diabetes), visits at 6-month intervals are associated with a lower incidence of tooth loss (SOR: C, a retrospective cohort study). Children with risk factors (eg, caries) may benefit from a first dental visit by age 3 years (SOR: C, a retrospective cohort study).

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