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J Dent Educ. 2009 Dec;73(12):1387-93.

Dental practice network of U.S. dental schools.

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  • 1School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4905, USA. monica.fisher@case.edu


As dental schools incorporate training in evidence-based dentistry (EBD) into their curricula, students must learn how to critically evaluate systematic reviews and meta-analyses. It is important that dental education in the United States support the American Dental Association's position statement on EBD, which defines "best evidence" as data obtained from all study designs. Given that much evidence is missing when EBD is derived from Cochrane Systematic Reviews' randomized clinical trials, we propose the creation of a dental practice network of U.S. dental schools. We developed an electronic clinical dentistry research database for EBD using Epi-Info (available at www.cdc.gov/epiinfo/downloads.htm). As a free, public use software, Epi-Info provides the foundation for the development of clinical research databases that can increase the research capacity through multisite studies designed to generate outcomes data on the effectiveness of dental treatment. The creation of a dental practice network of dental schools with their large number of patients would expand the research capacity for EBD practice and advance the EBD science regarding the effectiveness of dental treatment. The next step is to link clinical dental researchers/educators at multiple dental schools through a collaborative clinical research network, so that the findings can be applied to the EBD component of problem-based learning curricula of dental education.

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