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J Public Health Dent. 2012 Winter;72 Suppl 1:S48-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2012.00325.x.

Potential to improve oral health care through evidence, protocols, and payment models.

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Department of Health Promotion and Policy, University of Maryland, School of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Evidence-based health care aims to utilize the best available evidence from scientific methods and apply this evidence to clinical and public health practice. Evidence of the benefits and risks of treatment is derived from randomized controlled clinical trials, systematic reviews, and expert panels. Evidence-based clinical parameters and guidelines should foster the best health outcomes for individuals or populations at reduced costs. By incorporating evidence-based guidelines into payment models, the payers - private or public - have the capacity to improve oral health care and ultimately oral health outcomes. This paper uses examples from pediatric dentistry to show how adoption of caries risk factors, clinical management protocols, and a reimbursement system based on evidence-based guidelines may allow for better quality of care to more individuals and at a lower cost.

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