Obtaining an evidence-base for clinical dentistry through clinical trials

Nicola P. T. Innes, Dafydd J. P. Evans, Jan. E. Clarkson, Jennifer I. Foley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Ideally, all clinical practice should be based on the best available evidence; however, in general dental practice even a very routine issue, such as the appropriate management of the carious primary dentition, is hampered by the lack of a sound evidence-base from high quality clinical trials run in general dental practices. Furthermore, the use of the evidence that is available may be confounded by inadequate reporting. This paper reviews the difficulties reported in successfully completing such clinical trials, and reports on the authors' own experiences. Suggestions are made for overcoming the challenge of patient recruitment in randomised controlled clinical trials in primary dental care. These include: regular contact with a principal investigator, who is viewed as a peer; ensuring the relevance of the research topic to the dentists' daily practice; appropriate remuneration; acknowledgement of the contribution made and recognition of the contribution of research activity to continuing professional development. Use of the CONSORT statement to improve planning and reporting of clinical trials is recommended.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-96
    Number of pages6
    JournalPrimary Dental Care
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • Randomised controlled trials
    • Primary teeth
    • Caries
    • Primary care
    • General dental practice
    • Clinical trials
    • Evidence-based dentistry


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