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‘Skeptical’ dentists can find answers with EBD

September 03, 2015

By Michelle Manchir

Dr. Gillette
Dr. Jane Gillette has always had what she calls "a skeptical side to my personality."
"In dental school," she recalled, "I would sit in classes and think 'but how do we really know how much ferrule we need for restoration longevity?'"
Dr. Gillette, a clinician and community dental health consultant in Montana, said her inclination to ask questions and find science-based answers is what keeps her involved in Evidence-Based Dentistry.
"I loved EBD immediately because it gave me the skills I needed to search and evaluate the validity and volume of the evidence myself.  There are many products, techniques and precepts that are promoted to dentists and when you go to the research, sometimes it's really surprising what you find," said Dr. Gillette.
Evidence-Based Dentistry, or as Dr. Gillette put its, "the process of evaluating the quality and volume of evidence regarding a topic of interest and applying it to patient care," is the focus of the ADA Evidence-Based Champions Conference Nov. 3-4.
The ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry aims to lead the promotion of oral health by disseminating the best available scientific information and helping practitioners implement it into clinical practice.
At the conference, dentists will learn how to apply EBD principles and tools in clinical decision-making.
Dr. Gillette will be at the conference demonstrating and assisting participants in hands-on literature searches and presenting on applying the process of EBD into the everyday practice of dentistry.
"I love teaching other dentists to be independent thinkers," Dr. Gillette said. "Many of them have had burning questions and fresh ideas they've wanted understand more about. It's super rewarding to help them gain the skills that allow them to find and evaluate the research results for those questions and ideas. They have complete excitement on their faces as they find answers."
Dr. Gillette may be accustomed to seeing what that looks like. She has been an EBD Champion since attending the first EBD conference in 2008.
Since then, she's been a presenter at the annual conferences, and has written a search strategy guide published by the ADA that describes how dentists can search and appraise evidence quality in as little as 5 minutes.
She says she uses EBD continually in practice, especially in her focus on providing care to seniors in long-term care facilities.
"One of the most impactful situations lately was the release of the ADA's EBD Guideline on Antibiotics for Prosthetic Joints," she said.  "Through that guideline, I learned that there's very little evidence to support the routine practice of prescribing antibiotics for dental procedures to prevent prosthetic joint infections. It was a game changer for me."
Dr. Gillette, who is chair of ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations and president-elect of the Montana Dental Association, said she knows how important it is to help dentists find realistic ways to implement EBD in practice.
"Dentists are absolutely swamped for time," she said. "So I go first to resources that specialize in rating the quality of evidence for you, like the ADA's This site not only has clinical guidelines, but also 'snack-sized' summaries of systematic reviews in which the quantity and quality of research has been analyzed and critiqued for you."    
More information about EBD search tools and practices will be presented at the conference, she said.    
The Evidenced-Based Champions Conference will precede ADA 2015 – America's Dental Meeting, in Washington D.C.
The conference has an interactive format with table discussions at the end of each session to encourage participation and lively conversation.
Registration is open and conference seats are limited to the first 100 registrants. Attendees can earn up to 12 hours of CE credit. For more information visit