Impact of Follow-Up Visit Timing Recommendations After Dental Rehabilitation Under General Anesthesia

Document Type


Publication Date



American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Source Publication

Pediatric Dentistry

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Purpose: Dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia (DRGA) is performed increasingly by pediatric dentists. Follow-up visits and ongoing recall attendance are shown to be low post-DRGA. There is currently no guideline or published study on optimal DRGA follow-up timing recommendations. A quality improvement initiative was performed at Children's Dental Center of Children's Wisconsin to increase the rate of follow-up post-DRGA. The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in follow-up compliance after implementing a two-week visit recommendation instead of a six-week interval for dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia follow-up.

Methods: The DRGA follow-up visit recommendation was changed from six weeks to two weeks postsurgery. Attendance rates for recall exams were evaluated before and after implementation with 17 months follow-up (n equals 544). Attendance was then compared by age, special health care needs, foster care status, and caries recurrence.

Results: The intervention improved compliance with DRGA follow-up for all ages (P<0.001) and six-month recall visits for ages zero to five (83.3 percent of cases, P=0.001). Patients were more likely to return for any visit within 17 months in the two-week follow-up group compared to the six-week group (P=0.002). There was no difference in caries recurrence requiring treatment between the two follow-up timing groups (P=0.86).

Conclusion: Changing the dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia follow-up from six weeks to two weeks improved compliance through six months and decreased the overall number of patients lost to follow-up.


Pediatric Dentistry, Vol. 43, No. 6 (November-December 2021): 470-474. Publisher link.