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School of Dentistry: Evidence-Based Practice: Evidence Based Dentistry

Resources to support EBP: EBD

Levels of Evidence

Evidence Based Practice Resources

The American Dental Association defines evidence-based dentistry (EBD) as:  
"an approach to oral health care 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."

EBD is the integration of:

  • Your knowledge, skills, and past experience (Clinical Expertise)
  • he unique preferences, concerns and expectations of your patient (Patient Characteristics)
  • Valid and clinically relevant research (Best Evidence)  

5 A's - Steps for Acquiring Information

  •   Review the situation (Assess)
  •   Define the clinical problem as a question (Ask)
  •   Select resources, design a strategy, and search for the answer (Acquire)
  •   Summarize the evidence yield (Appraise)
  •   Apply the evidence (Apply)

Terms to Know

Systematic Review a research method that is designed to answer a research question by identifying, coding, appraising and synthesizing a group of studies.

Meta-analysis: a systematic method that takes data from a number of independent studies and integrates them using statistical analysis.

Randomized Control Trial (RCT): An experimental study to assess the effects of a particular variable, e.g., a drug or treatment, in which subjects are assigned randomly to an experimental, placebo, or control group.

Bias (in regard to research): A tendency of procedures in study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, review or publication, to yield results or conclusions that depart from the truth.

EBM Toolkit

  • Click on the toolbox above to access resources such as appraisal worksheets, self evaluation guides and help with clinical question formation. Maintained by the Knowledge Translation program of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto ON

American Dental Association Direct Link


  • Use this button to access the ADA Center for Evidence Based Dentistry directly


  • provide a brief overview of the article content, and
  • offer a scientific- and evidence-based assessment of the published research

ADA EBD Video Series

  • Use the above button to access ADA's Evidence Based Dentistry Series