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Dental Hygiene: Evidence Based Medicine

Find books, research databases, journal articles, and more in the area of dental hygiene.

What Is Evidence Based Practice?


ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry (n.d.) Evidence-Based Dentistry Venn Diagram [PNG Image]. Retrieved from

ADA's Evidence-Based Dentistry

    "An approach to oral healthcare that requires the judicious integration of systematic assessments of clinically relevant scientific evidence, relating to the patient’s oral and medical condition and history, with the dentist’s clinical expertise and the patient’s treatment needs and preferences.”  

Evidence Based Dentistry Process

5 A's  Dental Section of the Medical Library Association CC BY-NC-SA license

  Five Parts of a Good Clinical Research Question

  • ASK                Forming a PICO question for clinical need
  • ACQUIRE       Doing a search to find best evidence 
  • APPRAISE     Evaluating evidence for validity and quality
  • APPLY            Applying results to patient care
  • ASSESS         Determining the effect on the patient

From Richard D. Clarkson, J. Matthews, and D. Niederman.  Evidence-Based Imaging Information for Better Practice.  London: Chicago:  Quintessence Pub.  2008.


PICO is an acronym for a clinical question that reflects the following components: 

  • Patient or Population or Problem
  • Intervention or Treatment
  • Comparison or Control (if included)
  • Outcome of interest (not always included)



Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal Titles

These are examples of journal titles that are indexed in library databases. Find these journals in the Journal Locator.

Evidence Based Medicine

EBM Pyramid and EBM Page Generator, copyright 2006 Trustees of Dartmouth College and Yale University. All Rights Reserved.
Produced by Jan Glover, David Izzo, Karen Odato and Lei Wang.

Types of Evidence Based Studies

Meta-analysis  A process often applied to data from multiple systematic reviews.  This process often results in a statistical analysis of sources.

Systematic Review  A summary of primary research studies used to answer a specific question.  A Systematic Review is usually the result of a comprehensive literature review that has been conducted using predefined criteria.

Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials (RCTs)   Trials that involve at least one experimental treatment or intervention and one control treatment or intervention (either a placebo treatement or no treatment) conducted over a period of time.

Double Blind Randomized Control Trials  Trials that utilize the framework of the Randomized Control Trial combined with the additional qualification that neither the patient nor the investigator knows whether or not the patient is receiving the experimental treatment or control treatment.

Cohort Studies  Studies that make observations about the connection between a particular exposure or risk factor and the subsequent development of a disease or condition.  In Cohort Studies, subjects initially do not have the condition being studied.  They are followed over time to see if or what frequency they develop the disease/condition as compared with a control group not exposed to the risk factor under investigation.

Case Control Studies  Comparison of a group of patients, one of which already has a condition or disease and one without the disease or condition.

Case Series or Care Reports  Reports on the treatment of one or more individual patients.

Definitions provided from: Forrest J, Miller SA, Overman PR, Newman MG. (2009). Evidence-Based Decision Making: A Translational Guide for Dental Professionals. Philadelphia:Wolters Kluwer.