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Helping clinicians 'become connoisseurs of the literature'

April 20, 2015

By Michelle Manchir


EBD discussion: ADA Evidence-Based Dentistry workshop participants (from left) Drs. Maxine Strickland, Joana Cunha-Cruz, Kenneth Markowitz (center, speaking), Herminio Perez and Jessica Kim engage during a course in February held at the NYU College of Dentistry.
New York, N.Y. — The American Dental Association collaborated with the New York University College of Dentistry in February to offer a one-week intensive course on evidence-based dentistry.

The advanced course, formerly offered as the ADA/Forsyth EBD Course, covered primary aspects of evidence-based dental practice, including implementing the best evidence in clinical practice and teaching, asking precise, structured clinical questions, rapid critical reading and appraisal and understanding clinic trial design, among other topics.

"The course participants — both clinicians and academics — came to learn how to be evidence-based and how to train their students to be evidence-based," said Dr. Richard Niederman, who served as an instructor at the workshop Feb. 9-13 at the NYU School of Dentistry. Dr. Niederman is also director of the Center for Evidence-based Dentistry at NYU; professor and chair of the school's Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion; and a consultant to the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.

The five-day course, worth up to 35 continuing education credits, showed participants how to walk through a multi-step process to determine the age and quality of data, Dr. Niederman said.

Participants were taught how to search literature to answer focused questions, especially when facing clinical uncertainty, added Dr. Elliot Abt, who also served as an instructor of the course and is the vice-chair of the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs.

During the week, participants appraised a systematic review, a randomized trial, a diagnostic test study and clinical practice guideline in an effort to help practitioners "become connoisseurs of the literature," Dr. Abt said.

The workshop was one of many each year offered by the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, which aims to disseminate the most current scientific evidence and to help dentists implement the current best evidence in practice.

Some February participants called the experience "valuable" and "a great learning experience."

"The course was worth every penny of my money and every second of my time," said Dr. Catherine O. Young, a private practice dentist in Plainfield, New Jersey, after the workshop. "I did get what I came for during this one-week course on EBD at NYUCD: improve my knowledge on what dental care practices are scientifically supported in today's dental community and whether my thoughts and practices are in align with them, or if I need to change on my current practices of dentistry in my solo-practice and find some way of making a more positive impact in the community I practice in."

The ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry has several ongoing programs available to help dentists implement EBD.  Also, it will host an Evidence-Based Dentistry Champions Conference Nov. 3-4 in Washington D.C. in conjunction with the ADA annual meeting.

The conference is intended for forward-thinking practitioners to learn to implement EBD into their practice and mentor their colleagues in EBD principles. Attendees will earn up to 14 hours of continuing education credit at this two-day conference. More details about the conference will be available later this year.

For more information about the Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry's work, including science podcasts and tutorials, visit ebd.ada.org.