Evidence-Based Dentistry

Evidence-based dentistry (EBD) integrates the dentist’s clinical expertise, the patient’s needs and preferences, and the most current clinically relevant evidence.  All three are part of the decision-making process for patient care.[1]  .  Evidence-based care is now regarded as the “gold standard” in health care delivery worldwide.[2]  The American Dental Association (ADA) has developed the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry to serve as a resource for the dental professional.  The ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry operates under the advisement of the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs to develop resources that help dentists integrate clinically relevant scientific evidence at the point of care.  The Center’s vision is to be the lead in promoting oral health by disseminating the best available scientific information and helping practitioners implement it into clinical practice.[3]  The ADA Clinical Practice Guidelines were developed for the purpose of providing tools to help clinicians implement evidence-based decision-making into their everyday care of patients.  While these recommendations do not constitute “standards of care”, they are the scientific foundation for the practice of evidence-based dentistry.[4]  EBD should provide the most effective care that is available and improves patient outcomes.

With the association of oral health as it relates to various medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart health, there is an increasing awareness of the intricacy to patient care.  Evidence-based dentistry closes the gap between clinical research and real world dental practice and provides dentists with powerful tools to interpret and apply research findings. [5]  Both clinicians and patients have easy access to endless streams of online information using the Internet.  Although this type of information may be obtained is quick and easily, it can be difficult to identify that which is credible for both the consumer and the clinician.  As dental professionals, it is our role to bridge the gap between the patient’s questions and that which is evidence-based, to deliver the best possible treatment.

  The Tennessee Department of Health, Oral Health Services office supports evidence-based dentistry (EBD).  As an advocate of EBD, it is our intent to serve as a resource for connecting dental professionals to the most current and credible resources as practitioners across the state strive to deliver quality care to their patients.

Visit the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry:


[1], [3], [4] American Dental Association, Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry; accessed 9/5/2017;   http://ebd.ada.org/en/about

[2], [5] Kishore, M., Panat, S, Aggarwal, A, Agarwal, N, Upadhyay, N, and Alok, A.  (2014). Evidence Based Dental Care: Integrating Clinical Expertise with Systematic Research, Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research 8(2): 259-262.