September 2013 Volume XLIX Number 5
Unless you read the 504 articles published by pediatric dentistry journals last year (including some in Chinese and French), you may be a bit behind. And even if you are a multilingual speed-reader, chances are you are not trained in critical appraisal and practical application of the material you are reading. Few dentists are, and even those who are don't have the time to do the work of synthesizing evidence on a day-to-day basis. It's a good thing you don't have to. Evidence-based dentistry (EBD) is, at its core, the compilation of the best available research so that one can base their clinical decisions on evidence. That's the EBD process in a nutshell: finding the evidence, critically appraising it and synthesizing it into clinical guidelines. The rest is up to you. You treat your patient using the best evidence coupled with clinical judgment and experience.
This article begins a series explaining evidence-based dentistry and how you can use it in your practice. First, you should be aware of the Academy's evidence-based dentistry efforts. As this article goes to press, Academy staff members, your peers and outside experts steeped in evidence-based practice are convening to begin work on AAPD EBD clinical guidelines. These guidelines reflect a new age in pediatric dentistry research. While these guidelines will be produced utilizing different protocols from the past, they will continue to recognize the value of input from pediatric dentists with years of clinical experience.
As experts in a wide-range of pediatric dental topics, the EBD Committee will work to oversee the development of two new guidelines on pit and fissure sealants and pulp therapy. Our next article will discuss the PICO process or how the questions answered by the guidelines are selected.
The Evidence-Based Dentistry Committee includes the following people:
Dr. Donald Chi (chair), Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Washington and an Investigator at the Northwest Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparities.
Dr. N. Sue Seale, editor of Pediatric Dentistry and the Journal of Dentistry for Children and Regents Professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry.
Dr. Anu Tate Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine. Director of Advocacy and Research in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington DC.
Dr. Tim Wright, Bawden Distinguished Professor and Chair Department of Pediatric Dentistry The University of North Carolina.
Dr. Randall K. Lout, voted a "Top Dentist" by Phoenix Magazine, has practices in Mesa and Phoenix Arizona. He has served on committees of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and as a consultant to the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners.
Dr. Jessica Lee, Demeritt Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina and on faculty of both the Departments of Pediatric Dentistry in the School of Dentistry and Health Policy and Management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently the at large trustee for AAPD and will serve as board liaison.