Clinical Practice Guidelines and Dental Evidence

Our collection of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, systematic reviews, and primary studies that will help you improve your practice.

Clinical practice guidelines

The strongest resources to aid dental professionals in clinical decision-making. Developed by an expert panel, clinical practice guidelines critically appraise, summarize, and interpret recent and relevant clinical evidence to provide recommendations that can be applied to patient care. Explore current clinical practice guidelines below.

Pain management

Recommendations for managing acute dental pain in children, adolescents and adults after tooth extraction(s) or for the temporary management of toothache.

Restorative caries treatments

Recommendations for the use of 16 restorative caries treatments – which direct restorative materials and caries removal approaches to use.

Nonrestorative caries treatments

Clinical recommendations for the use of nine nonrestorative caries treatments, including the ADA's first-ever recommendations for silver diamine fluoride (SDF).

Antibiotics for dental pain and swelling

The latest recommendations for antibiotic usage in the urgent management of pulpal- and periapical-related dental pain and intra-oral swelling.

Antibiotics to prevent infective endocarditis

Recommendations from the American Heart Association on the use of antibiotics to prevent infective endocarditis.

Antibiotics to prevent prosthetic joint infection

Recommendations for the use of antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent orthopaedic implant infection in dental patients.

Fluoride toothpaste for young children

Updated guideline recommending a unified message to the general public regarding fluoride toothpaste usage for children under six years of age.

Non-fluroide caries prevention agents

Clinical recommendations for the use of agents such as sucrose-free polyol chewing gums, xylitol dentifrices, and chlorhexidine in preventing caries.

Oral cancer detection

Current recommendations for evaluating lesions, including potentially malignant disorders, in the oral cavity of patients.

Periodontitis treatment

ADA panel recommendations for nonsurgical treatment of chronic periodontitis by means of scaling and root planing with or without adjuncts.

Sealants for caries prevention

Expert panel recommendations for the use of pit-and-fissure sealants to prevent caries.

Topical fluoride for caries prevention

ADA panel recommendations for various topical fluoride agents for caries prevention, including mouth rinses, varnishes, gels, foams and pastes.

Systematic reviews

Like clinical practice guidelines, systematic reviews critically appraise and summarize the scientific literature in regards to a specific clinical question. Unlike guidelines, which then use the literature to make clinical recommendations, systematic reviews leave the job of interpreting their results up to the discretion of dental practitioners. Explore our collection of current systematic reviews below.

Dental intervention for cancer patients

Preradiotherapy dental treatment’s effect on the risk of osteoradionecrosis of the jaw during oncologic treatment.

Clinical evidence for the use of dental painkillers.

Teledentistry and mHealth

Use of communication systems and information-based technologies to promote oral health.

Enamel caries detection and diagnosis

Technologies to detect and inform the diagnosis of initial caries.

Human papillomavirus vaccine

Analyzing HPV vaccine effectiveness against vaccine-type HPV infection and HPV-associated cellular changes.

Primary studies

The ADA provides relevant research data that you can use for clinical decision making. Explore the most recent and trending topics below.

Strategies for Developing Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines

How to overcome common challenges to guideline adoption in dental practice.

U.S. Dental Health Care Workers’ Mental Health during the Pandemic

Assessing the prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms among dental health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccine Intention and Hesitancy of Dental Hygienists in the U.S.

As of August 2021, 75.4% of hygienists had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a higher proportion than the general public and health care workers overall.


Want to learn how to incorporate the latest scientific evidence into clinical practice? Check out these educational opportunities offered by the ADA Science and Research Institute.

How-to videos

Explore various instructional videos that help illustrate certain evidence-based dentistry techniques and clinical procedures.

A photograph of a person’s hands typing on a laptop computer.

Book on evidence-based dentistry

Learn how both dental teams and educators can harness the power of the latest scientific information and apply it to patient care.

Evidence-Based Dentistry

ADA Policy Statement on Evidence-Based Dentistry: The ADA defines the term evidence-based dentistry as an approach to oral health care that requires the judicious integration of systematic assessments of clinically relevant scientific evidence, relating to the patient’s oral and medical condition and history, with the dentist’s clinical expertise and the patient’s treatment needs and preferences.