Recommendations for research

While developing this guideline, the research evidence in a number of areas was found either to be inconclusive or not to exist. Research in the following areas would help in updating this guideline and implementing it in general dental practice. Research designs will need to accommodate the mix of arrangements (NHS, private and mixed configurations) under which dental primary care is provided.

1 Dental attendance patterns

Dental attendance patterns should be examined for changes after the publication of the guideline.

2 Agreed intervals

After publication of the guideline, information will be needed on whether patients visit the dentist at the agreed interval, and their reasons for this.

3 One-to-one oral health advice

Research is needed on the long-term clinical and cost effectiveness of one-to-one oral health advice and whether this may depend on:

  • the frequency with which it is delivered

  • the physical or oral health of the patient

  • other characteristics of the patient (for example, age, sex, social class, occupation)

  • the medium used to deliver the advice

  • who delivers the advice.

4 Varying dental recall intervals

Research is needed to examine the effects of varying dental recall intervals on oral health, and on which aspects of the oral health review influence oral health.

5 Oral health impact on quality of life

Research is needed to examine the impact of oral health (relating to gingivitis, caries, periodontal disease and mucosal disease) on quality of life.

6 Effects on periodontal health of routine scale and polish treatment

Research is needed to examine the effects on periodontal health of routine scale and polish treatment (in conjunction with oral hygiene instruction) in different populations. Specifically, research is needed to examine the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of providing this intervention at different time intervals.