• Evidence-Based Practice for Dentistry and Dental Hygiene

    What is it?

    “Evidence-based dentistry is an approach to oral health care that requires the judicious integration of systematic assessments of clinically relevant scientific evidence, relating to the patient’s oral and medical condition and history,with the dentist’s clinical expertise and the patient’s treatment needs and preferences." -American Dental Association

    In a nutshell—combining the best evidence from the research with the dentist’s area(s) of expertise and the wants and needs of a patient in order to develop the best possible course of treatment.

    How to Put EBD into practice

    1. Examine the patient and make note of the following:
      1. Patient's current diagnosis
      2. Complete medical history
      3. Other health conditions the patient has
      4. Current medications the patient is taking
      5. Factors about the patient which may influence the treatment plan (i.e. age)
    2. Formulate a well-constructed question using the PICO formula.
      1. P— Patient
      2. I — Intervention
      3. C—Comparison (of two or more treatments if appropriate)
      4. O—Outcome
      (PICO questions typically focus on one of the four areas: Therapy or treatment; Diagnosis; Etiology/Causation; or Prognosis)
      Sample Question: In an elderly patient who takes a beta-blocker for hypertension, what is the best treatment for oral lesions?
    3. Conduct a comprehensive search for the most recent, best evidence or research on your patient's condition.
    4. Appraise the research you found for validity and usefulness and relevance to your particular patient.
    5. Use the results from your literature search and appraisal in clinical practice.
    6. Evaluate the outcome of the clinical application.
    7. If necessary, collect further evidence.