Evidence-Based Dentistry (EBD)

Evidence-based dentistry (EBD) is based on three important domains: the best available scientific evidence, a dentist’s clinical skill and judgment, and each individual patient’s needs and preferences. Only when all three are given due consideration in individual patient care is EBD actually being practiced. The first domain, evidence, is there to inform dentists and patients, but never to mandate a specific course of treatment. If we think about Evidence, Clinical Judgment, and Patient Needs and Preferences as three circles, then EBD is right in the center where all three circles overlap. Evidence-based dentistry (EBD) is an approach to oral healthcare that requires the judicious integration of systematic assessments of clinically relevant scientific evidence, relating to the patient’s oral and medical condition and history, with the dentist’s clinical expertise and the patient’s treatment needs and preferences. By saying “relating to the patient’s oral and medical condition and history”, this definition takes a patient-centered approach to treatment decisions. It is important to understand that EBD is an approach to practice, an approach to making clinical decisions, and is just one component used to arrive at the best treatment decision. EBD is about providing personalized dental care based on the most current scientific knowledge.