Introducing dental students to evidence-based decisions in dental care

J Dent Educ. 2008 Jan;72(1):87-109.


Practicing evidence-based dentistry is a process of lifelong and self-directed learning. Teaching evidence-based dentistry to dental students is the key to increasing the uptake of evidence-based treatments and practices in dentistry. This article describes the procedures undertaken to teach undergraduate dental students at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry how to produce systematic reviews as a module in clinical epidemiology. Nine selected reports have been summarized as examples of the outputs of this module. At the end of the module, students are asked to participate in a survey and anonymously fill out a questionnaire to evaluate the module. Students' evaluation of the module in the 2005-06 (n= 64) and 2006-07 (n=57) academic years were extracted for data analysis. Overall, the majority of students found the module an enjoyable way of learning that has improved their ability to gather information, apply existing evidence to a clinical question, evaluate information, and further develop their communication skills. This module was also effective in raising students' awareness of the importance of evidence-based clinical practice. It is essential to establish the fundamentals of evidence-based practice during the undergraduate curriculum to assist dental students in learning the skills to practice evidence-based dentistry.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Authorship
  • Canada
  • Curriculum / standards*
  • Education, Dental / methods*
  • Education, Dental, Continuing / methods
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Humans
  • Review Literature as Topic*