Skip to Main Content

DEN207Y/DPP111H Dental Public Health

This is a resource guide for the Doctor of Dental Surgery undergraduate courses DEN207Y: It is meant as a supplement to the library session workshop.

Identify the best study design based on nature of question

Depending on the nature of your question (Step 1) you can use the hierarchy of evidence to select a relevant primary study design to look for the answer. The image below aims to capture types of study designs for each question type.

Image from: Brignardello-Petersen, R., Carrasco-Labra, A., Glick, M., Guyatt, G. H., & Azarpazhooh, A. (2014). A practical approach to evidence-based dentistry: understanding and applying the principles of EBD. Journal of the American Dental Association, 145(11), 1105-1107. doi: 10.14219/jada.2014.102

Preappraised Resources for Foreground Questions

Summaries and Clinical Practice Guidelines

Summaries and Clinical Practice Guidelines can also be great for background questions. They often grade strength of recommendations and/or certainty of evidence. They also contain links to other useful, preappraised resources such as systematic reviews or clinical trials.

Other Preappraised Resources

These include systematic reviews and synopses. They are rigorously peer-reviewed and serve as a reliable evidence source. Some journals specialize in publishing evidence-based synopses, which summarize evidence from high-quality studies.

Primary Studies

Databases of original research (may also contain Systematic Reviews and other study designs).

Comprehensive Resources

Also called meta-searchers or search aggregators, these tools are useful because they search across multiple resources and retrieve information at all levels of the evidence hierarchy. Most also allow you to filter or rank search results by evidence type.