Four cases of calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumour are reported, all with pain as a presenting symptom. Two of the cases have long-term follow-up, one with a recurrence after 16 years and the other with no recurrence after 24 years. Only 17 per cent of cases reported in the literature have follow-up of 10 years or more, and yet the possibility of recurrence after this length of time must be considered. Recommendations for treatment are made based on the biological behaviour and recurrence rate following various types of treatment reported in the literature. It is recommended that patients in whom the diagnosis of calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumour has been made should be reviewed continuously.