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EBD conference can teach dentists to help communicate with patients

July 13, 2015

By Michelle Manchir

Dr. Jetter
Even though her involvement in practice-based research predated her first ADA Evidence-Based Dentistry Champions Conference in 2013, Dr. Cynthia Jetter knows what it’s like to get caught up in clinical duties.

“When you’re in practice every day, you don’t always think about the research that’s going on,” said Dr. Jetter, who with her husband, Dr. Donald Jetter, runs a practice in Voorhees, New Jersey. “Let’s face it, there’s only so much time in a day.”

The ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry and its website disseminates the most current scientific evidence and helps dentists implement the current best evidence in practice. After Dr. Jetter attended the Champions Conference, she said she understands it takes only a few minutes a day to become a better consumer of the available scientific literature.

“A few minutes here, a few minutes there,” Dr. Jetter said about using the ADA Evidence-Based Dentistry website, where critical summaries of recent research are aggregated and highlighted. “Sometimes I’ll take 20 or 30 minutes to update myself.”

Soon, others like Dr. Jetter will have the opportunity to become evidence-based dentistry champions.

This year the Champions Conference is Nov. 3-4 in Washington D.C., preceding ADA 2015 – America’s Dental Meeting.

Here, participants can learn what Evidence-Based Dentistry is and how to apply its principles and tools in clinical decision-making.

Dr. Jetter said attending the conference helped her understand the impact and breadth of dental-related research. It also helps her communicate with her patients, she said.

When patients have specific questions, sometimes she prints the plain language summaries of reports and articles for patients to help explain her treatment plans for them.

“It’s excellent we have a place where we can turn to in order to show patients how our decisions are actually based in science,” Dr. Jetter said. “It elevates dentistry.”

Dr. Jetter said when patients have questions about their root canal procedure or whether an electronic toothbrush is better than a traditional one, she can visit ebd.ada.org to supplement her answers for them with documented research.

“It makes you more effective for patients,” she said. “If you make yourself available to learn and read and become familiar with the EBD website, you can see everything else that’s going on — since it isn’t possible to personally go through all those studies.”

For more information or to register for the 2015 Champions Conference, visit ebd.ada.org.