An outline of evidence-based dentistry

Definition: Evidence-based dentistry is the practice of dentistry that integrates the best available evidence with clinical experience and patient preference in making clinical decisions.

Evidence-based practice in dentistry (a more comprehensive review by David Healey and Karl Lyons, published in the New Zealand Dental Journal 98, 32-35; 2002).

How to frame a question

The second part of the article listed below provides some guidelines on how to frame a question:

Evidence-based dentistry: Part I. Getting started. (A journal article by Susan Sutherland published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, April 2001.)

Access to dental and medical literature

The following will provide useful information on accessing Medline:

Evidence-based dentistry: Part II. Searching for answers to clinical questions: How to use Medline (A journal article by Susan Sutherland published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, May 2001.)

Evidents provides access to medical databases. It is an evidence-based dentistry search engine that is a collaboration between, SumSearch and the Forsyth Institute, Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry.

PUBMED and GATEWAY provide access to medical databases. The following sites provide guides to using PubMed:

The National Library of Medicines' free access server to MEDLINE citations back to the mid-1960s, and additional life science journals. PubMed also includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources.

Finding evidence on the internet / Finding good quality information

Evidence-based dentistry: Part III. Searching for answers to clinical questions: finding E-vidence on the internet (A journal article by Susan Sutherland and Stephanie Walker published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, June 2001.)

Research design, levels of evidence

Evidence-based dentistry: Part IV. Research design and levels of evidence (A journal article by Susan Sutherland published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, July/August 2001.)

Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry provides useful links on how to appraise evidence.

Levels of Evidence (.pdf) is produced by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine. This document provides a full list of levels of evidence under headings that include therapy, prognosis and diagnosis.

Critical evaluation of literature

Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry

University of York NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination.
This site also provides useful links on how to evaluate evidence.

Links to evidence-based dentistry journals

The following two evidence-based publications are available on subscription:

The following two sites provide links to journals, websites and publications.

Links to evidence-based dentistry sites

Quality of Information on the Internet:

Academic Centres:

  • The Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry is an Oxford-based reference source for training in Evidence-Based Techniques, and includes the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. This site will also provide links to Evidence-based Dentistry links, Evidence-based Dentistry tools and Evidence-based Dentistry journals.
  • The Cochrane Collaboration ( and ( - The centre provides a library of Randomised Controlled Trials currently being performed, which includes the Cochrane Oral Health Group.
  • ScHARR - The University of Sheffield School of Health and Related Research provides this Internet resource for finding evidence.
  • Bandolier is a synthesis of bullet point headings from primary health journals using evidence-based methods.
  • Intellihealth, incorporating Harvard Medical School's Health Information Pages. This site provides health-related information at a lay person level.

Government-sponsored and Professional sites:

Clinical Trials:
Information on current or completed clinical trials is available at NIH Clinical Trials or Current Controlled Trials

Medical Search Engines:
Medical Matrix is a site for medical search engines with search and retrieval ability for health care information. This is a subscription only site.

Answers to clinical questions

Attract is a UK based site that will search literature to answer clinicians questions.