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Quintessence International



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Quintessence Int 50 (2019), No. 5     12. Apr. 2019
Quintessence Int 50 (2019), No. 5  (12.04.2019)

Page 402-411, doi:10.3290/j.qi.a42293, PubMed:30957113

Dental products and evidence-based dentistry
Markowitz, Kenneth / Roberts, Elizabeth / Strickland, Maxine
Dentists make frequent product recommendations to their patients. Many dental products are intended to exert a therapeutic action such as caries prevention or desensitization. The purpose of this article is to highlight the contributions the principles of evidence-based dentistry (EBD) can make in guiding therapeutic product recommendations. Dental practitioners are exposed to product claims in advertising and in the professional literature. All studies are not equivalent in making treatment decisions. Although useful for screening active ingredients and providing other background information, laboratory studies should not directly inform clinical decision-making. Properly designed and conducted randomized controlled clinical trials assess the impact of an intervention on a disease-relevant outcome measure (like pain scores or periodontal pocket depth). Where available, systematic reviews can help clinicians determine if there are trends and agreement in clinical trial results. Clinical studies need to be evaluated for publication and other forms of bias. In order to use study results in clinical decision-making, the clinical significance of the trial results must be considered. Determining that a result is statistically significant is inadequate since it does not inform the clinician of the magnitude of the treatment effect. Although clinical studies may generate observations that are valid for the conditions and selected population that was used in the trial, the results may not predict how well an intervention will work in actual use by a diverse group of consumers. In order to better inform clinical judgment, practice-based research networks examine the effectiveness of interventions under real-world circumstances. Applying these basic EBD principles should allow dental practitioners to use consumer products to promote oral health.

Keywords: clinical trials, dental products, efficacy, effectiveness, evidence-based dentistry