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ADA customizes EBD for Stony Brook

General dentistry department inspired by Loma Linda account

July 15, 2013

By Jean Williams, ADA News staff

On the road: Julie Frantsve-Hawley, Ph.D., senior director of the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, works with (from left) Drs. Martin Pokorny, John Lagner and Charles Bythewood during an April 3 workshop that the ADA customized for Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine.
Stony Brook, N.Y.—If you're going to take a bite of time out of busy dentists' schedules, you better make sure it's for something worth stealing away to do.

Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine had that covered when it summoned its entire general dentistry department for a daylong EBD education program customized by the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry. The department's faculty had been asking for it after an article appeared in the ADA News about a customized workshop at another dental school.

“It was an article where Loma Linda had an EBD workshop customized,” said Dr. Mary Truhlar, associate professor and chair of the Department of General Dentistry. “I saw that and some of my faculty said, 'We'd really like something like this.' That's how it all started.”

The article described how Loma Linda University School of Dentistry successfully tapped the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry to design and teach a two-day workshop to its faculty in June 2012.

Dr. Truhlar worked with the ADA to develop objectives and a workshop course, which was part of a daylong program on April 3 in conjunction with Stony Brook's new Alan Alda Center for the Communication of Science.

Julie Frantsve-Hawley, Ph.D., senior director of the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, was an instructor at the Stony Brook workshop along with Dr. Robert Weyant, professor and chair of the Department of Dental Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine.

EBD insight: Dr. Robert Weyant, professor and chair of the Department of Dental Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, lectures in EBD at Stony Brook. 
“We took the time to really understand their needs and what the Stony Brook faculty wanted as part of their workshop,” said Dr. Frantsve-Hawley. “We worked with Dr. Truhlar and others closely to develop a unique program that was engaging and interactive. Together, we were able to navigate to some amazing resources available at their own institution.”

Dr. Truhlar said that her faculty was familiar with the basic EBD terminology and that 10 to 20 percent already employ EBD in practice. A central focus of the Stony Brook customized workshop was learning to tap the available resources to practice EBD.

“What they really came away with and loved that day is that they learned about their health sciences library, which is on campus, and has all these resources that they had not really been familiar with,” Dr. Truhlar said. “They developed a working knowledge of their own resources here on campus. So they'll be more successful here on this campus, but understand nationally what dentistry's doing and become more familiar with the ADA and its resources because we also dovetailed it with 'how to get to your ADA resources.'

“It was a really nice combination, and I think they walked away very excited as to what's out there. They just didn't have knowledge on how to access it.”

Ultimately, the Stony Brook course was “hugely successful,” Dr. Truhlar said.

“We ran it as a continuing education,” she said. “We got rave reviews from faculty that they want more. They want follow-up and implementation and we're going to start doing some of that later on this summer before we start our next academic year.”

Dr. Ray Williams, dean of the dental school, commended Dr. Truhlar's efforts and success with the ADA in designing a successful CE program on EBD, especially as Stony Brook looks to add new EBD curricular initiatives, Dr. Williams said. The course successfully attracted and engaged the dental school's largest department, the Department of General Dentistry, he said.

“In essence, I applaud Mary Truhlar for bringing evidence-based dentistry to her faculty, and to teach and educate them in the concepts and principles of evidence-based dentistry, including the use of systematic reviews for getting to the essence of the evidence,” Dr. Williams said.

For more information on customizing EBD workshops for your institution, contact Erica Vassilos, manager, ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, at ext. 2523 or email