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Oral Health Research Prosthodontics

Evidence-based prosthodontics: what are the fundamental considerations, limitations, and guidelines?


This summary is based on the article published in the Dental Clinics of North America: Evidence-Based Prosthodontics: Fundamental Considerations, Limitations, and Guidelines (January 2014)

Key Messages

  • Prosthodontics is a unique specialty that offers numerous advantages and disadvantages for application of principles of evidence-based dentistry (EBD).
  • An important difference between medical and dental models of care is the level of control a patient has about how, when, and whether it is necessary to treat a dental problem. This is especially true in the discipline of prosthodontics. Hence, an absolute extrapolation of evidence-based concepts from medicine to prosthodontics is not possible.
  • Current lack of “strong” evidence for a particular treatment does not necessarily imply that the treatment is “inferior” or “clinically ineffective.” Efforts should be targeted, however, to improve the future scientific evidence for such treatments.
  • Due to the unique nature of prosthodontics, it is necessary to establish a consensus on guidelines for reporting prosthodontic outcomes. These guidelines can ensure that investigators provide standardized reporting of their studies in order for them to be clear, complete, and transparent and allow integration of their evidence into clinical practice.
  • In order to teach and understand evidence-based prosthodontics, academicians and clinicians need to attain new skills pertaining to computer-based knowledge systems. These skills are necessary to use scientific evidence for the 5-step process of asking, acquiring, appraising, applying, and assessing.
  • Evidence-based prosthodontics can change the future course of prosthodontics education, patient care, reimbursements, research agendas, and oral health policies that have an impact on prosthodontics.


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