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Dental Hygiene: Evidence Based Dentistry

An introduction to the services and resources for Dental Hygiene students at Bristol Community College.

About EBD

Evidence-based dentistry (EBD) integrates the dentist’s clinical expertise, the patient’s needs and preferences, and the most current, clinically relevant evidence. All three are part of the decision-making process for patient care.

What is EBD?

EBD is a patient-centered approach to treatment decisions, which provides personalized dental care based on the most current scientific knowledge. The American Dental Association (ADA) defines Evidence-based Dentistry (EBD) as “an approach to oral healthcare 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.”
- ADA Center for Evidence Based Dentistry

EBD Five Step Process

Evidence Based Dentistry (EBD) is a structured approach to identifying and using the best information relevant to a particular clinical problem.

Five Important Steps:

Formulate a well-built question (PICO),
i.e. convert information needs/patient's clinical problems into focused clinical questions so that they can be answered

Step 2:  FIND
Conduct a comprehensive search for the latest relevant research,
i.e. find the best evidence with which to answer the question

Critically appraise the evidence for its validity and clinical usefulness.

Step 4:  APPLY
Apply the results of the appraisal, or evidence, in clinical practice

Evaluate the process and performance of the evidence, or outcomes, in clinical application.

Evidence Based Tools


PICO Model: Asking Good Clinical Questions

A well formed clinical question covers the following 4 areas (PICO):

P  -  Patient, population or problem

I    - Intervention, prognostic factor or exposure

C  -  Comparison (if appropriate)

O  -  Outcome


Clinical Questions primarily fall into four categories: