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Learn to critically appraise research at advanced evidence-based dentistry workshop

November 24, 2015

By Michelle Manchir

Dr. Abt

Dr. Richards

Dr. Niederman

Dr. Veitz-Keenan
As a dental student decades ago, Dr. Elliot Abt recalls sitting through lessons that seemed to be based largely on anecdotal evidence. The apparent lack of science in some of the teachings left him with questions, he said, even after he graduated.
"I had very little ability to discriminate between anecdotal and scientific evidence," said Dr. Abt, who is chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.
After dental school, he sought a general practice residency at a medical center where he said faculty helped put him on a path for being able to back up his treatment decisions for patients with science.
Today, Dr. Abt holds a master's degree in evidence-based health care from Oxford University, and he is one of four instructors at a Jan. 11-15 ADA/New York University Advanced Evidence-Based Dentistry Workshop.
Evidence-based dentistry, Dr. Abt said, holds many of the answers he was seeking as a dental student and resident.
Evidence-based dentistry is combining research, evidence, clinical skills and expertise and patient preferences in order to improve clinical decision-making.
Dental students in school today are learning the basics of evidence-based dentistry, which is the result of Commission on Dental Accreditation requirements developed in the past decade. The workshop can increase dental faculty exposure to evidence-based dentistry, Dr. Abt said.
The five-day workshop in New York City aims to cover the primary aspects of evidence-based dental practice, including implementing best evidence in clinical practice and teaching; asking precise, structured clinical questions; finding the best evidence via laptop computer; and critical appraisal, or the ability to analyze the methods and results of different types of studies for relevance and validity.

The course is relevant to all dentists and members of the dental team, but also to educators and researchers, Dr. Abt said.
Those wary to learn more about evidence-based dentistry can consider that it doesn't provide "a mandate," said Dr. Abt.  Rather, "It's simply having an awareness of the evidence and learning to appraise it," he said.
For those who may be completely new to evidence-base dentistry, the ADA is offering a one-day preliminary boot camp program Jan. 10 to precede the workshop.
ADA members receive a 20 percent discount on tuition for both the five-day workshop, which is $2,500 before the discount, and the boot camp, which is $500 before the discount.
Tuition includes course materials and lunch. The ADA designates the 5-day course for 35 CE credits.
Aside from Dr. Abt, instructors at the workshop include Drs. Richard Niederman and Analia Veitz-Keenan from the NYU College of Dentistry; and Dr. Derek Richards from Oxford University.
For more information or to register, visit