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:
- 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.
- Speak with their colleagues who have incorporated the technology in their practice about their experience and perspectives.
- Consider the benefits and risks achieved by adopting the technology that provides better patient care and improved disease control.
- Prior to considering proceeding with incorporating the technology complete reputable and specific training programs, particularly with a hands-on component, and
- 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