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Clinical Practice Guidelines

Clinical practice guidelines include recommendation statements intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options. These are the strongest resources to aid dental professionals in clinical decision making and help incorporate evidence gained through scientific investigation into patient care.

A process for developing clinical practice guidelines is described in the ADA Clinical Practice Guidelines Handbook. PLEASE NOTE: This handbook is, at the moment, being updated to better reflect the Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry's most current methodology. For insight into this latest methodology, please refer to the clinical practice guideline for the use of pit-and-fissure sealants.



Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation of Potentially Malignant Disorders in the Oral Cavity

A panel of experts convened by the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs presents an evidence-based clinical practice guideline on evaluating patients for oral cancer. The goal of this 2017 clinical practice guideline is to inform clinicians about the potential use of adjuncts as triage tools for the evaluation of lesions, including potentially malignant disorders (PMDs), in the oral cavity.

View Oral Cancer Guideline Now


View Sealants Guideline Now

A panel of experts convened by the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs presents an evidence-based clinical practice guideline and systematic review for the use of pit-and-fissure sealants.


View Topical Fluoride Guideline Now

The panel assessed the efficacy of various topical fluoride caries-preventive agents, including mouthrinses, varnishes, gels, foams and pastes.


View Fluoride Toothpaste for Young Children Guideline Now

The American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs met with stakeholders to discuss differing public messaging on the use of fluoride toothpaste for young children. The participants agreed that a unified recommendation on the use of fluoride toothpaste for young children would be preferable and less confusing to the public.


View Nonsurgical Treatment of Chronic Periodontitis Guideline Now

A panel of experts convened by the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs presents an evidence-based clinical practice guideline and systematic review on nonsurgical treatment of patients with chronic periodontitis by means of scaling and root planing (SRP) with or without adjuncts.


View Prosthetic Joint Guideline Now

In 2014, the ADA's Council on Scientific Affairs assembled an expert panel to update and clarify the clinical recommendations found in the 2012 evidence-based guideline Prevention of Orthopaedic Implant Infection in Patients Undergoing Dental Procedures.


View Fluoride Supplements Guideline Now

The panel concluded that dietary fluoride supplements should be prescribed only for children who are at risk of developing caries and whose primary source of drinking water is deficient in fluoride.


View Non-Fluoride Caries Preventive Agents Guideline Now

The panel addressed several questions regarding the efficacy of non-fluoride agents in reducing the incidence of caries and arresting or reversing the progression of caries.


View Reconstituting Infant Formula Guideline Now

The panel recommended that dentists can suggest the use of powdered or liquid concentrate infant formulas reconstituted with optimally fluoridated drinking water while being aware of the potential risks of enamel fluorosis due to exposure to fluoride from multiple sources.


View Infective Endocarditis Guideline Now

The guidelines update the 1997 recommendations by the American Heart Association for the prevention of IE. The committee concluded that IE prophylaxis for dental procedures should be recommended only for patients with underlying cardiac conditions associated with the highest risk of adverse outcomes from IE.


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