In vitro pre-clinical research is an important aspect of the development of new dental materials and techniques, because it can provide essential information for further testing of therapeutic approaches in clinical trials. These pre-clinical experiments should therefore be reported with the same rigor as studies involving humans. The objectives of this paper were twofold: (a) to search and assess existing guidelines for reporting in vitro studies in dentistry, and (b) to present a methodology for reporting these studies, based on the CONSORT checklist for reporting randomized clinical trials. After a comprehensive search in PubMed database, no guidelines for reporting in vitro studies in dentistry were found. The proposed methodology is presented and the rationale for the choice of fourteen guidelines for producing the different sections of such papers is described in detail. The assessment of a sample of in vitro studies using the proposed guidelines showed that the standards of reporting should be improved. Good standards of reporting of studies are necessary for improvement of efficiency in dental research. The guidelines presented are the first standards for reporting in vitro studies in dentistry. As with the original CONSORT document, the modified checklist is evolving. It should, therefore, be further tested by researchers and the results of these assessments should be used for further improvement of this tool.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.