Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are regarded as the best study designs to test the efficacy of medical and dental intervention. Many reports, however, have shown that at the moment the quality of dental RCT reports is still poor, and further efforts to improve it are necessary. It has been suggested that trials that are not well designed provide biased estimates of the treatment effects and that a journal's impact factor is not related to the quality of RCTs published. For these reasons, before trusting RCT reports, a careful assessment of the study selected is needed. Randomisation, blinding, allocation concealment, drop outs analysis are essential quality components of RCTs. Many systems for RCTs quality assessment are available. In this report the concept of quality of RCTs will be critically evaluated and the most commonly used instruments available for quality assessment of RCTs in dental research will be reviewed.
© 2011 FDI World Dental Federation.