The Case for Evidence-Based Dentistry

We live in an era of amazing scientific study and awareness. We look to science to improve our lives in multiple areas. We particularly look to science when it can help keep us healthy or make us healthy. Using science to improve medical care is called evidence-based medicine. But are we doing enough with science to improve our oral health? What about evidence-based dentistry?

Evidence-based medicine is an approach to taking care of patients that is the gold standard for patient care in the United States. It involves using science from well-designed studies to inform treatment decisions and help make the best choices for patient care. It allows both for better outcomes and a way to measure the improvements, successes or failures of specific treatments. Evidence-based medicine has dramatically changed the way medicine is practiced. A quick google search finds a scholarly article on “evidence-based medicine” is cited in 9420 articles. But, what about evidence-based dentistry? The same google search reveals “evidence-based dentistry” is cited a mere 166 times, and “evidence-based dentistry in clinical practice” a scant 150 times.

The truth is, more needs to be done to promote evidence-based dentistry. The American Dental Association has created a Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry to help dentists improve patient care by integrating three main areas of focus—1. The dentist’s knowledge and expertise; 2. The patient’s needs and wants; and 3. What the science says. The goal is to help dentists help their patients by using quality scientific evidence to guide treatment decisions. The ADA recognizes the need to help dentists by developing treatment guidelines based on evidence, not just intuition, so dentists can do more than hope for the best, they can know they are doing their best for their patients. Patients are able to take comfort in the fact that their dentist cares enough to keep current on the research being done and applying it to their health.

CariFree was born out of the same guiding principles that underpin evidence-based dentistry. Dr. Kutsch wanted to do more for patients, so he started with a question, how do we prevent cavities, and looked to the science of the oral environment for answers. Sometimes, that involved doing studies to help find the grow the body of science relevant to improve oral care. CariFree products are formulated using the science of oral pH and study into the development process of caries to interrupt the caries process and make a meaningful difference by helping treat the underlying disease process, not just treating the symptoms of the disease by drilling and filling cavities.

Of course, as the National Institutes of Health point out, applying scientific evidence to dental care requires that evidence be available. In order to improve evidence-based dentistry, more dental studies that produce high-quality evidence are needed. CariFree is committed to keeping up with and contributing to the body of evidence for excellent oral care. As the evidence grows, so does our ability to incorporate it into our products and provide the best possible care for our patients.

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