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Eur J Dent Educ. 2017 Nov;21(4):e7-e18. doi: 10.1111/eje.12208. Epub 2016 May 5.

Evidence-based dentistry for planning restorative treatments: barriers and potential solutions.

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Division of Prosthodontics and Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Undergraduate Dental Clinics, Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



Evidence-based dentistry (EBD) can help provide the best treatment option for every patient, however, its implementation in restorative dentistry is very limited.


This study aimed at assessing the barriers preventing the implementation of EBD among dental undergraduate and graduate students in Montreal, and explore possible solutions to overcome these barriers.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted by means of a paper format self-administrated questionnaire distributed among dental students. The survey assessed the barriers and potential solutions for implementation of an evidence-based practice.


Sixty-one students completed the questionnaire. Forty-one percent of respondents found evidence-based literature to be the most reliable source of information for restorative treatment planning, however, only 16% used it. They considered that finding reliable information was difficult and they sometimes encountered conflicting information when consulting different sources. Dental students had positive attitudes towards the need for better access to evidence-based literature to assist learning and decision making in restorative treatment planning and to improve treatment outcomes. Even for dentists trained in EBD, online searching takes too much time, and even though it can provide information of better quality than personal intuition, it might not be enough to identify the best available evidence.


Even though dental students are aware of the importance of EBD in restorative dentistry they rarely apply the concept, mainly due to time constraints. For this reason, implementation of EBD would probably require faster access to evidence-based knowledge.


attitude; decision making; evidence-based dentistry; intuition; restorative dentistry; treatment planning

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