Last spring, the American Dental Association invited leading practitioners and dental educators from around the country, including three professors from NYU, to participate in a series of nationwide initiatives designed to promote the use of an evidence-based approach to dental practice.
Dr. Mark Wolff, Professor and Chair of the Department of Cariology & Comprehensive Care and Associate Dean for Predoctoral Clinical Education, and Dr. Silvia Spivakovsky, Clinical Associate Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine, were selected to be part of a group of 127 practitioners who are serving as Evidence-Based Dentistry (EBD) Champions, or advocates for EBD in their local communities. The Champions help to promote and implement the scientific principles and merits of EBD to support the timely transfer of clinically relevant knowledge among their peers and colleagues through various dissemination mechanisms. Applications are currently available for the 2009 Champions Conference on the ADAs website (www.ada.org).
The goal, said Dr. Wolff, is to replace the long-standing paradigm of following tradition and authority in health care decision-making with an emphasis on critical thinking.
Added Dr. Spivakovsky, I teach my students how to formulate a question for a literature search and how to evaluate evidence from different sources, based on such factors as whether a particular scientific study was appropriately designed to answer the question that the student posed.
The ADA also selected Dr. Analia Veitz-Keenan, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine, to join a second group of 21 practitioners who are responsible for distilling systematic reviews into one-page, easy-to-read summaries. The Journal of the American Dental Association will publish a selected summary each month beginning in 2009. All summaries will be posted on a new Web site devoted to EBD that is scheduled to debut in spring 2009.