The use of the evidence-based approach in a periodontal therapy contemporary science workshop

Ann Periodontol. 2003 Dec;8(1):1-11. doi: 10.1902/annals.2003.8.1.1.


Background: When appropriately evaluated and carefully managed, the integration of emerging technology into practice can improve health and enhance the quality of life. Since the last American Academy of Periodontology Workshop in 1996, great technological advances in the areas of data access, retrieval, and management have been made. The World Wide Web has "exploded" with great possibilities for gathering data from many sources. Evaluation methods such as meta-analysis and modeling have likewise improved, permitting a more objective and useful assessment of the retrieved information. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the evidence-based (EB) approach was used to plan and implement a consensus conference on periodontal therapy, the Workshop on Contemporary Science in Clinical Periodontics.

Rationale: The methodologies and philosophies associated with the EB approach provided the ideal framework for assessing the applicability of the newest clinical research to patient therapy.

Methods: Evidence-based systematic reviews on 15 topics associated with contemporary clinical periodontal practice were conducted prior to the Workshop. High standards of scientific rigor and scholarly ideals were stressed throughout the process. At the highly structured conference the reviews served as the basis for development of consensus reports that include implications for practice and research. MATERIAL COVERED: 1. The rationale, design, and implementation of a conference on contemporary clinical periodontics using an evidence-based approach. 2. Data management, clinical versus statistical significance, and the challenges of technology transfer and dissemination. 3. The benefits and limitations of using the EB approach in a consensus conference.

Conclusions: The consensus statements resulting from the conference should serve to augment clinical decision-making, research priorities, education, and reimbursement. The evidence-based approach removed much of the subjectivity traditionally associated with classical reviews of the literature and allowed participants to focus on substantive issues.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Information Management
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy*