We’ve heard a lot about Evidence Based Dentistry in the last few years. With all the claims about the Oral- Systemic link and all the products and techniques that are emerging, it’s important that we’re aware of the research and science that supports them. In short, if we’re going to offer services and education to patients, we better have the evidence to Back it Up!
But who has time to pour over volumes of research in order to come to our own conclusions? The good news is there are a few key organizations that can provide reliable resources to help you create an evidence based practice.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anecdotal evidence as long as we present as just that…our own clinical experience. And we all know that there is a piece of research that will support and refute just about any claim. It’s our job to use the resources available to determine what we believe, based on the research.
There was a great article on Evidence Based hygiene recently published by Modern Hygienist online. It was written by Shirley M. Beaver, RDH, PhD. Click here to view the article. I encourage you to read it. In the article she mentions PubMed and Medline. These are government supported search engines for research abstracts.
PubMed is a resource I use a lot. I learned about it when doing research for my senior paper while studying at UNC and I’ve used it ever since. Any time I’m creating new clinical training material, I want to be sure what I’m teaching has a sound scientific basis. So if I read a news alert about a possible link between perio and cancer, I’ll go to PubMed and see what I can find.
Other helpful resources are The Cochrane Collaboration and Gordon Christensen’s Clinician’s Report.Click on each of these titles to go to their website. They are both non-profit organizations. The short reports and abstracts you’ll find will give you the highlights of the studies and their conclusions.
I often use what I learn from these resources when talking to patients. Our patients want to know that we keep up with current research. And it’s pretty powerful when we recommend a service and we can quote research to Back it Up!