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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008 May;66(5):973-86. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2008.01.024.

Evidence-based oral and maxillofacial surgery.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ninewells Hospital, National Health System Tayside, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom.



The amount and quality of research evidence in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) journals have never been evaluated. The current study aims to empirically assess the evidence available in this literature.


The main (Database 1) and neighboring (Database 2) journals of OMFS were manually screened over a 3-year period (2004 to 2006). The types and designs of articles were recorded. The identified randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) were further evaluated for issues of reported methodological quality.


In total, 3,487 articles were analyzed. Meta-analyses and RCTs were very rare. Only 2 meta-analyses of RCTs were identified, and RCTs represented a mere 1.3% in each database. Case series and case reports were the dominant article types (1,388, or 59%, for Database 1; 686, or 60.1%, for Database 2). Basic research, laboratory and animal studies, had an important share of 19% and 15.4% in both databases, respectively. An equally high percentage was recorded for nonsystematic reviews, personal views, expert opinions, and editorials (15.9% and 19% for Database 1 and Database 2, respectively). Of the 46 identified RCTs, most of them enrolled less than 100 patients (37 studies, or 80.5%). The majority of them did not describe the randomization mode (27 studies, or 59%), did not present power calculations (31 studies, or 67.4%), and did not report allocation concealment (38 studies, or 79.5%). Almost half of them made no mention of masking (22 studies, or 48%), and only one third described withdrawals during follow-up (15 studies, or 32.6%).


The OMFS literature suffers from a relative shortage of high-quality evidence. More, larger, adequately powered, and better reported RCTs are warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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