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House continues ADA Cochrane subscription

The ADA is continuing its subscription to the Cochrane Library following action by the House of Delegates in October.

The ADA’s subscription to Cochrane was set to expire in 2012 but was reinstated in Resolution 69H-2011.

In July at the 2011 Evidence-Based Dentistry Champions Conference, several ADA members, including Dr. Chris Smiley, agreed to pursue reinstatement of the subscription.

Said Dr. Smiley, a general practitioner in Grand Rapids, Mich., “When we took a look at the dollar value for what was gained by cutting that program, that certainly was minimal. Benefits for the Cochrane Library were so great that those of us at the conference said, ‘Well, let’s work on trying to have a resolution for the House of Delegates to reinstate the intended funding for that program.’”

Cochrane Library is a repository in database form of systematic reviews, clinical trials and other research on evidence-based dentistry and medicine. These materials are considered the highest form of clinical evidence, Dr. Smiley said.

Dr. Joseph Hagenbruch, ADA 8th District trustee, shared the group’s concern. “I believe it’s crucial. If we’re going to say we are the Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry—and I believe we are and need to pursue that—then that’s just one of the tools that we need to have on board for evidence determination,” Dr. Hagenbruch said.

Trent Lally, a fourth-year dental student at University of Detroit-Mercy and 6th District trustee of the American Student Dental Association, said that dental students are used to having access to Cochrane Library through their dental schools’ subscriptions.

Along with Nipa Thakkar, a dental student at Temple University, Mr. Lally drafted an ASDA statement supporting Cochrane Library reinstatement that Ms. Thakkar read to the Reference Committee on Dental Education, Science and Related Matters.

Dr. Smiley pointed out that EBD is here to stay, making Cochrane a growing value as a member benefit. “If we take a look at the future of the practice, the Commission on Dental Accreditation has incorporated into their standards the need to have evidence-based dentistry principles taught. So this is something that’s becoming universal within dental schools and is the changing face of the profession,” he said.

Every dentist can find great value in the Cochrane Library, say expert users like Dr. Jane Gillette, a general dentist practicing in Bozeman, Mont. She uses Cochrane vigorously in her practice and listens to Cochrane podcasts while driving.

Dr. Gillette will speak at the 2012 ADA EBD Champions Conference in March (See story, this page.) at ADA Headquarters as she has done in the past few years.

Dr. Gillette shares Cochrane literature with her patients in specialized reports that dovetail systematic reviews, her clinical thoughts and the patient’s desires. “You can get the full Cochrane reviews, which are sometimes nearly a hundred pages long,” she said. “It’s a lot to go through, but you can also get plain language ones that are really good for giving to patients.”

Bottom line, said Dr. Smiley, is that Cochrane is of value for all ADA members.

“Wikipedia is not the place to get the latest and the greatest,” he said. “You want to have the highest level of evidence that you’re looking at to make your clinical decisions, and that’s where sites like Cochrane come in.”

The Cochrane Library subscription is an ADA members-only benefit that can be accessed via the ADA Library page at Other EBD content is accessible from the ADA Center for Evidence-based Dentistry website at, where there is also a link to the March conference.