May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Evidence-Based Dentistry AAPD's First Evidence-based Systematic Review Protocol

July 2015 Volume L Number 4

The AAPD's first evidence-based systematic review on vital pulp therapy in the primary dentition has been registered with PROSPERO1, and soon the review's protocol will be published in Pediatric Dentistry. This is the first systematic review protocol published in Pediatric Dentistry. Notably, a search on PubMed's Dental Journals subset2 revealed no systematic review protocols. The Cochrane Collaborations' Oral Health Group has only published protocols for a third of its reviews.

Registration of randomized controlled trials has been a standard for over a decade. Without registration or publication of trial's protocols, there is a bias toward publication of trials with definitively positive or negative results, since inconclusive trials will not change practice.3 Welldone systematic reviews can provide a good estimate of a therapy's effectiveness for two reasons: systematic reviews collect and synthesize all relevant studies and assess each included study for risk of bias.4 The impact of systematic reviews on clinical practice is considerable compared to a single study, therefore international registration of reviews was implemented about five years ago.

The pulp therapy systematic review has also been officially registered with PROSPERO. Registration is integral to the development of a gold standard systematic review. By registering our review, we are assuring the public and peer reviewers that our process is rigorous and transparent.

For further information, please contact AAPD Policy Center EBD Manager Laurel Graham at (312) 337-2169 or