Promoting regular dental attendance in problem-orientated dental attenders: A systematic review of potential interventions

Charlotte C. Currie*, Vera Araujo-Soares, Simon J. Stone, Fiona Beyer, Justin Durham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Problem-orientated dental attenders account for around one-third of the UK population, these being patients who do not seek regular dental care, instead only attending with dental pain. In order to develop intervention(s) to encourage regular dental attendance in these patients, any previous intervention development should be identified to aid idea generation or retrofitting of interventions. Objective: To identify previous interventions which have been developed targeted at problem-orientated dental attenders to facilitate the development and co-design of a new intervention. Methods: Eight electronic databases were searched for studies which included an intervention targeted at adult problem-orientated or irregular dental attenders to encourage regular dental attendance. Data on the intervention design mapped to the theoretical domains framework were extracted, alongside effectiveness and patient views where available. Results: Three studies fitted the inclusion criteria for the review. Interventions identified were attendance at a dental anxiety clinic, and a large advertising campaign promoting a free dental update where members of the public could visit local dental practices to look around and meet the dentists. One study looked at the effect of policy change by introducing free dental check-ups in Scotland. Interventions were poorly reported, with significant omissions in their description and a lack of clear identification of what composed the intervention. Conclusion: There are very few interventions developed targeted at problem-orientated dental attendance, but important areas to consider in future intervention development include the following: dentist communication; dentist-patient relationship; increasing the awareness of need; the effect of free dental check-ups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-1191
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • dental anxiety
  • dental care
  • dental health services
  • dental utilisation
  • systematic review


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