Research in the context of the dental school has traditionally been focused on institutional/faculty accomplishments and generating new knowledge to benefit the profession. Only recently have significant efforts been made to expand the overall research programming into the formal dental curriculum, to provide students with a baseline exposure to the research and critical thinking processes, encourage evidence-based decision-making, and stimulate interest in academic/research careers. Various approaches to curriculum reform and the establishment of multiple levels of student research opportunities are now part of the educational fabric of many dental schools worldwide. Many of the preliminary reports regarding the success and vitality of these programs have used outcomes measures and metrics that emphasize cultural changes within institutions, student research productivity, and student career preferences after graduation. However, there have not been any reports from long-standing programs (a minimum of 25 years of cumulative data) that describe dental school graduates who have had the benefit of research/training experiences during their dental education. The University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry initiated a BSc Dent program in 1980 that awarded a formal degree for significant research experiences taking place within the laboratories of the Faculty-based researchers and has continued to develop and expand this program. The success of the program has been demonstrated by the continued and increasing demands for entry, the academic achievements of the graduates, and the numbers of graduates who have completed advanced education/training programs or returned to the Faculty as instructors. Analysis of our long-term data validates many recent hypotheses and short-term observations regarding the benefits of dental student research programs. This information may be useful in the design and implementation of dental student research programs at other dental schools.
The aim of this joint CDA-IMHA study was to investigate what Canadian dentists think about the utility of dental research. A questionnaire was sent to all dentists in Canada with the December 2001 JCDA. By April 1, 2002, 2,788 questionnaires, representing a response rate of approximately 16%, had been returned. In this second article in a 3-part series, we address the theme of research accessibility. The study results show that while 75% of respondents think that research results are easily accessible, 90% would like them to be more accessible. For clinical dentists, the most important source of information about research is generalist dental journals ( JCDA in particular), while teachers/researchers prefer specialist journals. In addition, clinical dentists prefer to learn about research through clinical practice guidelines rather than conventional scientific reports.
To assess the actual state of oral and maxillofacial radiology departments in US and Canadian dental schools against the ideal characteristics defined by the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (AAOMR) 1997 position paper.
Cross-sectional survey of all 65 US and Canadian dental schools.
Sixty-four surveys were returned (98%). At most schools, oral and maxillofacial radiology (OMR) was an identifiable division of a department, established policies, and had operational authority for radiographic practices in the primary radiology clinic. The majority of full-time faculty (72%) had formal training in OMR; the majority of part-time faculty (86%) did not. Full-time faculty spent approximately 60% of their time teaching, with the remainder of their time divided among research and scholarship, faculty practice, and service. Routine x-ray equipment was universally available; advanced imaging technologies were not. OMR faculty involvement in the interpretation of radiographs varied across diseases and conditions. Most published scholarship (85%+) was produced by full-time faculty. Average output was 1 paper per person per year, but a relatively small cadre of OMR faculty generated most papers.
In some attributes, the status of OMR closely approximated the ideal characteristics established in the AAOMR report. Among the remaining attributes, bridging the difference between the actual and the ideal will be the challenge for the next 5 years.
As part of a major reorganization of health and health care research in Canada, a study was performed to investigate the views of Canadian dentists on the utility and accessibility of the results of dental research. A cross-sectional survey design was used. Questionnaires and a postage-prepaid reply envelope were mailed with the December 2001 issue of the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association (JCDA) to all registered Canadian dentists. No second mailing occurred. Of 17,648 questionnaires distributed, 2,797 were returned representing a 15.8 percent response rate. In this sample, 64.3 percent found research findings easily available, 88.8 percent found research findings useful, and 95.8 percent had already changed one or more aspects of their clinical practice due to research findings. Significant differences in preferred means of learning the results of research and preferred formats for written reports of research findings were evident between generalist/clinicians and specialist/researchers. These results suggest that Canadian dentists are interested in the results of research and apply them to their practice, but that there are two main groups (generalist/clinicians and specialist/researchers) with different needs for learning the results of that research.
Building a collaborative research network reuniting dentists and academics constitutes a solution in order to bridge the gap between dental research and patient care. The purpose of this study was to identify the kind of clinicians willing to be involved in research and to determine their research priorities.
A questionnaire was mailed to all registered dentists in Canada in December 2001. This questionnaire comprised sociodemographic variables and questions on research utility, research results availability and dental research priorities. The statistical analyses were performed with 2,595 questionnaires completed by dentists working in a clinical setting.
27% of respondents were willing to be involved in dental research, 23% did not know and 50% did not want to be involved. A multiple logistic regression model shows that being open to participate (Yes and Don't know) is associated with: younger age (OR = 2.83), perception that research has a very big impact on the oral health of the population (OR = 1.93), perception that dental research results are not easily available to dentists (OR = 1.47), practice as a specialist (OR = 1.45) and French spoken as a first language (OR = 1.45). A large majority (80%) of dentists who would like to be involved in research think that effectiveness of techniques and treatments are a very high priority.
There is a significant group of dentists who wish to be involved in research. This information could be used to reunite dentists and researchers in a collaborative network.
The aim of the present study was to follow the clinical changes in third molar status during an 18-year period in patients aged 20 to 38 years.
The series consisted of 118 subjects (37 men and 81 women). In the beginning of the study, the mean age was 20.2 years (SD, +/-0.6 year), and at the end, it was 38.6 years (SD, +/-0.6 year). Panoramic radiographs were taken at baseline and at age 38. All of the subjects were clinically examined at baseline and at the end of the study. A portion of the subjects (n = 69) were also examined at age 32.
Most of the initially unerupted third molars were removed during the follow-up period (73%, maxilla and mandible together). More than half of the initially partially erupted third molars were removed during the follow-up period (64%, maxilla and mandible together). The percentage of erupted third molars found in the mouth at age 38 increased significantly depending on the initial status. Of the initially unerupted, partially erupted, or erupted third molars, 10%, 33%, and 50%, respectively, were erupted at age 38 (maxilla and mandible together). Changes in the status of third molars continued from age 32 to age 38, although to a lesser extent (8%). The 3 third molars with advanced eruption were all maxillary teeth in men.
Third molars undergo continuous clinical change on a reduced scale at least up to the age of 38 years.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of sealant treatment in preventing dental restorations due to caries in a practice-based research network in Finland, Sweden, and Greece. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Times of tooth emergence, sealing treatment, and dental caries were compiled from the dental charts of 4735 subjects born in 1970-72 in Finland and in 1980-82 in Finland, Sweden, and Greece. Survival time between tooth emergence and placement of first restoration was measured and estimated using survival analysis methodology. RESULTS: At the end of follow-up (7-10+ years), 30-40% of sealed molars and 60-80% of non-sealed molars were restored. Early sealant placement compared to late sealing did not result in significantly higher survival of 1st molars. The strategy of sealing the 1st molars only in high caries risk subjects was as effective as sealing all the molars and premolars routinely without caries risk determination. CONCLUSIONS: The sealing of all molar fissures proved to be no more effective than sealing risk fissures of subjects. Early sealing did not result in any better outcome than late sealing. The effectiveness of sealant treatment in preventing dental restorations is dependent on the caries risk of individuals and caries prevalence of the country.
Advances in informatics, particularly the implementation of electronic health records (EHR), in dentistry have facilitated the exchange of information. The majority of dental schools in North America use the same EHR system, providing an unprecedented opportunity to integrate these data into a repository that can be used for oral health education and research. In 2007, fourteen dental schools formed the Consortium for Oral Health-Related Informatics (COHRI). Since its inception, COHRI has established structural and operational processes, governance and bylaws, and a number of work groups organized in two divisions: one focused on research (data standardization, integration, and analysis), and one focused on education (performance evaluations, virtual standardized patients, and objective structured clinical examinations). To date, COHRI (which now includes twenty dental schools) has been successful in developing a data repository, pilot-testing data integration, and sharing EHR enhancements among the group. This consortium has collaborated on standardizing medical and dental histories, developing diagnostic terminology, and promoting the utilization of informatics in dental education. The consortium is in the process of assembling the largest oral health database ever created. This will be an invaluable resource for research and provide a foundation for evidence-based dentistry for years to come.
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