The practice of dentistry is one of the oldest areas of healthcare. While society has come a long way since the use of manure poultices for toothaches and wooden teeth, some dental procedures and treatments are done without enough evidence to show whether or not they are a good choice for a certain patient. Evidence-based dentistry is a newer way of doing things. It involves providing the dentist with plenty of data-based evidence about best practices, research, evaluation and patient care.
What is Evidence-Based Dentistry?
According to the Detroit Dental Society, evidence-based dentistry integrates three approaches to clinical practice. Those three approaches include the best scientific evidence, the dentist’s personal expertise, and the patient’s needs and preferences. The goal is for the dentist to give the patient information so that they can make informed decisions about their oral healthcare services. The overall mission of evidence-based dentistry is to improve oral healthcare services to individuals and society as a whole. One difference in evidence-based dentistry, according to Dentistry IQ, is that it requires dental hygienists to stay up-to-date on their continuing education credits and current with new types of treatment and dentistry products. It also involves the development of guidelines that clear up confusing questions in dentistry, such as the benefits of fluoride treatments for adults who are prone to cavities. The proactive aspect of evidence-based dentistry also requires the dentist or hygienist to take an active approach in reviewing the literature of dental care studies, treatments and products in scientific journals.
What Does it Mean for the Future of Dental Care?
According to Baucum Family Dentristry, combining the expertise of researchers with dentists, new, far more efficient treatments are being introduced. This will make the conventional practices we use now obsolete. For patients, this means a few things. They may have to get used to different procedures or methods when visiting the dentist. They may also have to answer more questions about the medications they take, their family history and their own medical history. In the end, the result will be care that is more tailored to the individual and grounded in well-done, peer-reviewed research studies on oral health and dentistry.
Using a science-based approach to oral healthcare helps ensure that patients receive the appropriate treatment based on their situation. Evidence-based dentistry also includes the patient as a partner in their oral healthcare plan. By relying on this type of a method of practicing dentistry, dentists can deliver modern and effective oral healthcare services to all of their patients.
Keeping up with your dental health is important, but don’t forget to take care of the rest of your body! Check out these ways you can get the most out of your healthcare!