Clinician assessment of guidelines that support common dental procedures

J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2008 Mar;8(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2007.10.001.


Many common clinical dental procedures do not have high-quality clinical guidelines available. Clinical guidelines are considered an important tool for applying the evidence-based concept to dental practice. The main objective of this study was to assess if current clinical guidelines that are easily available to dental practitioners in electronic databases support common dental procedures. In addition, a useful model for the assessment of the quality of the guidelines is presented. The results of a literature search demonstrated a lack in both the number and quality of clinical dental guidelines that support common dental procedures. Nine selected guidelines were assessed using the Appraisal of Guidelines, Research, and Evaluation instrument (AGREE). Following the AGREE recommendation, only one guideline could be considered for use in dental practice. Four guidelines were also considered for use in practice, but they would need some alteration in their contents. The last four guidelines did not achieve a good score and therefore could not be considered for use in dental practice. In conclusion, more high-quality dental guidelines should be developed to support common dental procedures using standardized quality criteria in order to appropriately implement the evidence-based process into dental practice. Furthermore, the AGREE instrument may help dental practitioners objectively assess the quality of clinical guidelines.

MeSH terms

  • Dentistry / standards*
  • Dentistry, Operative / standards
  • Humans
  • Periodontics / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Surgery, Oral / standards