Evidence-based Dentistry (EBD), like Evidence-based Medicine (EBM), was born in order to seek the “best available research evidence” in the field of dentistry both in research and clinical routine. But evidence is not clearly measurable in all fields of healthcare: in particular, while drug effect is rather independent from clinician’s characteristics, the effectiveness of surgical procedures is strictly related to surgeon’s expertise, which is difficult to quantify. The research problems of dentistry have a lot in common with other surgical fields, where at the moment the best therapeutic recommendations and guidelines originates from an integration of evidence-based medicine and data from consensus conferences. To cope with these problems, new instruments have been developed, aimed at standardizing clinical procedures (CAD-CAM technology) and at integrating EBM achievements with the opinions of expert clinicians (GRADE System). One thing we have to remember however: it is necessary to use the instruments developed by evidence-based medicine but is impossible to produce sound knowledge without considering clinical expertise and quality of surgical procedures simultaneously. Only in this way we will obtain an evidence-based dentistry both in dental research and clinical practice, which is up to third millennium standards.
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