The necessity for clinicians to practice evidence-based dentistry is clear. It is difficult for clinicians to keep current with the explosion of scientific literature, and the quality of the science in published articles is highly variable. This report is presented each year to assist the practicing dentist in evaluating the contemporary literature so that valid procedures, techniques, and materials may be incorporated or retained in the practice. One of the highlights of this review were the 2 excellent prospective, randomized long-term clinical trials which have validated the clinical use of silver amalgam as a restorative material where indicated. These trials were well-designed, controlled, and randomized to provide definitive evidence that permits clinicians to continue to use with confidence a material that has been under siege. There has been a general increase in the number of randomized, controlled clinical trials published in recent years. High quality systematic reviews of such trials can be of great benefit to society and address many unanswered questions. If these questions can be answered by such reviews, evidenced-based therapy can be provided for patients as opposed to the traditional opinion-based approach. The contemporary priority should be to identify the few most important questions that require answers, and then concentrate research efforts to answer those questions. Through the collaborative efforts of many research groups, sample sizes can be made meaningful, and the number of treatment variables reduced. This will greatly expand the evidence base for making treatment decisions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery