Research in Focus
Five Benefits of Conducting In-Office Clinical Research

Dr. Analia Veitz-Keenan is a private practitioner in Brooklyn, New York; a Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine at the NYU College of Dentistry; and a member of the PEARL Network Executive Board. She has enrolled 45 patients in the Post-Operative Hypersensitivity and Endodontic Outcomes study since joining the PEARL Network in 2005. Opposite are five benefits that she has reported as a result of conducting practice-based clinical research.

– A PEARL Practitioner-Investigator’s View –

When colleagues ask me why I joined the PEARL Network, I point to the following five key benefits:

  1. Practicing evidence-based dentistry. In evidence-based dentistry, treatment strategies are devised on the basis of critical evaluation of the scientific literature, rather than on subjective judgments and anecdotal information. Every PEARL Network member learns the principles of evidence-based dentistry during their basic clinical research training, and as time goes on, those who conduct research on a regular basis become adept at searching clinical journals and analyzing scientific evidence. Acquiring this skill has enabled me to offer patients a greater number of scientifically proven treatment options.
  2. Improving the bottom line. Understanding clinical research and utilizing published scientific evidence has made me less reliant on sales representatives and promotional materials for information on treatment advances. For example, instead of buying a new instrument at a sales presentation, I now usually wait for published research on the instrument’s effectiveness. Ultimately, my practice is more profitable because I spend my money more wisely.
  3. Enhancing my professional image. My ability to explain treatment choices by referring to published scientific research enhances my professional image among patients.
  4. Staying up-to-date. PEARL Network interactive tutorials and one-on-one training sessions make it easy to learn about clinical research. Conducting research keeps my mind sharp, enhances my critical thinking skills, and encourages me to keep up with the latest treatment advances.
  5. Providing better patient care. Ultimately, our patients, whom we are sworn to serve, receive better care when treatment options are offered by a practitioner who is adept at utilizing valid, scientific research and applying the best scientifically documented practices.

Conducting clinical research adds an interesting and exciting dimension to everyday practice. It represents a chance to improve treatment outcomes and make a positive contribution to the advancement of our profession. I am thrilled to be doing it.