Scientific evidence can help dentists arrive at the best treatment decision. But with such a large volume of published studies available, how do you easily find the latest evidence? A great place to start is this website's collection of clinical practice guidelines, which incorporate higher quality evidence and a lower risk of bias than other types of research.
Clinical practice guidelines
Clinical practice guidelines provide recommendations for patient treatment based on a scientific assessment of therapeutic options. ADA clinical practice guidelines are developed by a panel of experts under the guidance of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. The expert panels critically appraise, summarize, and interpret the clinical relevance of a body of evidence to develop practical recommendations. Browse guidelines
A systematic review involves conducting a comprehensive search of medical literature for a specific clinical question. The systematic review then provides a critical appraisal of individual studies and may also include additional statistical techniques to combine study results that help answer the clinical question. Systematic reviews accompany a number of the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry's clinical practice guidelines. Browse guidelines
A critical summary is a short (one to two page) document that summarizes and critically evaluates a systematic review. It provides information on how the results of the systematic review can be applied when treating patients. The Journal of the American Dental Association publishes critical summaries every week through its Clinical Scans series. View JADA Clinical Scans
Plain language summaries
Plain language summaries are short, easy-to-read summaries of systematic reviews. They are written so that patients can understand the key points of scientific evidence without getting into the clinical details behind the analysis. As such, plain language summaries are a great tool to help dentists communicate and work with their patients to identify the best treatment options. Summaries are published regularly in the "For the Patient" section of the Journal of the American Dental Association. View "For the Patient" summaries
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