Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Evidence-based dental practice: searching the literature and writing a report

This guide will help you search and assess literature to support dental research questions.

Step One - Identify main concepts and keywords

Brainstorm how you would like to approach your topic, use an EBM tool like PICO, identify the main concepts or keywords, transfer your question into a searchable question by making it more specific.

  • P: Patient, problem, population
  • I: Intervention
  • C: Comparison, control (optional)
  • O: Outcomes (clinical and your own search outcomes)

Example 1:

Original question: "What is the most efficient way of dealing with anxious children undergoing dental treatment?"

  • P: Children, dental treatment
  • I: Pharmacological therapies: Nitrous Oxide (or use another drug)
  • C: Behavioral, cognitive therapies
  • O: Alleviate dental anxiety

Research question: What is the most efficient way of dealing with anxious children undergoing dental treatment, pharmacological therapies, or behavioral, cognitive therapies?

Example 2:

Original question: A fifty-six-year-old, systematically healthy male patient with chronic periodontitis is looking for treatment. He is afraid of dental procedures and would like to avoid staying in the dental chair too long.

  • P: Periodontitis
  • I: Sonic, machine-driven
  • C: Manual instruments
  • O: Efficient

Research question: In adult patients with chronic periodontitis, does nonsurgical periodontal treatment (sonic/ultrasonic scalers) or manual instruments reduce duration of treatment?

Adapted from : Faggion, C. M.,Jr, & Tu, Y. K. (2007). Evidence-based dentistry: A model for clinical practice. Journal of dental education, 71(6), 825-831.