Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

INTERVAL (investigation of NICE technologies for enabling risk-variable-adjusted-length) dental recalls trial: a multicentre randomised controlled trial investigating the best dental recall interval for optimum, cost-effective maintenance of oral health in dentate adults attending dental primary care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Jan E. Clarkson, Nigel B. Pitts, Debbie Bonetti, Dwayne Boyers, Hazel Braid, Robert Elford, Patrick A. Fee, Ruth Floate, Beatriz Goulão, Gerry Humphris, Ian Needleman, John D. T. Norrie, Fiona Ord, Marjon van der Pol, Craig R. Ramsay, David N. J. Ricketts, Helen V. Worthington, Linda Young, Tony Anderson, Trevor Burke & 11 others Philip Dolan, Gail Douglas, Ruth Freeman, Ronald Gorter, Richard Herbert, Penny Hodge, Dirk Mettes, Wendy McCombes, Margaret Ross, Debbie White, INTERVAL Trial Collaboration

School/Research organisations


Background:  Traditionally, patients at low risk and high risk of developing dental disease have been encouraged to attend dental recall appointments at regular intervals of six months between appointments. The lack of evidence for the effect that different recall intervals between dental check-ups have on patient outcomes, provider workload and healthcare costs is causing considerable uncertainty for the profession and patients, despite the publication of the NICE Guideline on dental recall. The need for primary research has been highlighted in the Health Technology Assessment Group’s systematic review of routine dental check-ups, which found little evidence to support or refute the practice of encouraging 6-monthly dental check-ups in adults. The more recent Cochrane review on recall interval concluded there was insufficient evidence to draw any conclusions regarding the potential beneficial or harmful effects of altering the recall interval between dental check-ups. There is therefore an urgent need to assess the relative effectiveness and cost-benefit of different dental recall intervals in a robust, sufficiently powered randomised control trial (RCT) in primary dental care.
Methods: This is a four year multi-centre, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial with blinded outcome assessment based in dental primary care in the UK. Practitioners will recruit 2372 dentate adult patients. Patient participants will be randomised to one of three groups: fixed-period six month recall, risk-based recall, or fixed-period twenty-four month recall. Outcome data will be assessed through clinical examination, patient questionnaires and NHS databases. The primary outcomes measure gingival inflammation/bleeding on probing and oral health-related quality of life.
Discussion: INTERVAL will provide evidence for the most clinically-effective and cost-beneficial recall interval for maintaining optimum oral health in dentate adults attending general dental practice.


Original languageEnglish
Article number135
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Oral Health
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2018

    Research areas

  • Dental recall, Oral health, RCT, Primary care

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Fear of cancer recurrence in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: a systematic review of the literature

    Yang, Y., Li, W., Wen, Y., Wang, H., Sun, H., Liang, W., Zhang, B. & Humphris, G. 25 Jan 2019 (Accepted/In press) In : Psycho-Oncology. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Modelling reassurances of clinicians with Hidden Markov models

    Popov, V., Ellis-Robinson, A. & Humphris, G. 9 Jan 2019 In : BMC Medical Research Methodology. 19, 10 p., 11

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Developing the International Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH) to address current challenges of health communication

    Rubinelli, S., Silverman, J., Aelbrecht, K., Deveugele, M., Finset, A., Humphris, G. M., Martin, P., Rosenbaum, M., van Dulmen, S. & van Weel-Baumgarten, E. 8 Jan 2019 (Accepted/In press) In : Patient Education and Counseling.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. The existence and importance of patients' mental images of their head and neck cancer: a qualitative study

    Lang, H., France, E. F., Williams, B., Humphris, G. & Wells, M. 31 Dec 2018 In : PLoS ONE. 13, 12, 20 p., e0209215

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. The relationship of dental caries and dental fear in Malaysian adolescents: a latent variable approach

    Esa, R., Leng Ong, A., Humphris, G. M. & Freeman, R. 12 Mar 2014 In : BMC Oral Health. 14, 7 p., 19

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. UK population norms for the modified dental anxiety scale with percentile calculator: adult dental health survey 2009 results

    Humphris, G. M., Crawford, J., Hill, K., Gilbert, A. & Freeman, R. 24 Jun 2013 In : BMC Oral Health. 13, 29

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. The modified dental anxiety scale: UK general public population norms in 2008 with further psychometrics and effects of age

    Humphris, G. M., Dyer, T. A. & Robinson, P. G. 26 Aug 2009 In : BMC Oral Health. 9, 8 p., 20

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 255238157