The Canadian Dental Association supports an evidence informed approach to patient care. New products and technologies, including a range of materials, diagnostic tools, medical devices, and treatments and therapies, are entering the oral health market place at an increasing rate. Making a well-informed decision about whether to adopt a new product or technology can be a challenge if research evidence on the clinical benefits of using a particular technology is limited.

The dental profession, including national and provincial/territorial associations, dental educational institutions and individual member practitioners, fosters a culture of evidence-based dentistry and promotes decision-making based on the best available evidence. Decision-making related to health-related technologies is achieved by encouraging clinically relevant research and dissemination of findings in peer-reviewed journals; increasing opportunities for dentists to interact with their peers about the technology; and delivering up-to-date education courses where bias, including financial interests in the technology, is clearly identified.

When examining the potential benefit of a technology for their patients, dentists should prioritize patient need above all other considerations and:

  1. Assess the evidence - Review publications for relevant health technology assessments, systematic reviews and other published studies with consideration for bias (e.g. funding bias) and the strength of evidence.
  2. Speak with their colleagues who have incorporated the technology in their practice about their experience and perspectives.
  3. Consider the benefits and risks achieved by adopting the technology that provides better patient care and improved disease control.
  4. Prior to considering proceeding with incorporating the technology complete reputable and specific training programs, particularly with a hands-on component, and
  5. Choose training program providers where all conflicts of interest (COI) are clearly disclosed and available for review prior to enrolling in the program.

CDA Board of Directors
Approved: February 2019