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ADA/Forsyth EBD course evaluates participants’ opinions

Cambridge, Mass.—After finishing the weeklong ADA/Forsyth Evidence-Based Dentistry course, Dr. Phillip Woods was exhausted.

Exhausted but challenged. Exhausted but enlightened. Exhausted but highly satisfied.

“I left the course feeling a bit like a disciple with a mission; eager to practice and to share what I’ve learned,” said Dr. Woods, a periodontist who works as a national periodontal consultant for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. “I now have a better understanding of how to evaluate studies and how best to ask and answer some of my specific research questions. I now have an awesome list of extra EBD resources and related websites to assist me as well. I also plan to follow up with faculty should I need additional help.”

Dr. Woods, who hails from Devens, Mass., provided a candid reflection and one he will surely share in a post-course evaluation under way for the first time this year. In collaboration with the ADA Center for EBD, the Forsyth Institute has hosted the course for the past three years. Dr. Richard Niederman, who was one of the lead instructors, is conducting a study titled “Evidence-Based Dentistry: Evaluation of Teaching and Learning,” which is aimed at evaluating the knowledge and confidence of the participants and the effectiveness of the course.

The 40 people who attended this year’s course, held Sept. 19-23, were asked to complete assessments before and during the course. They will also be asked to complete an assessment in several months. The assessments included answering questions about fluoride knowledge and confidence; analgesia knowledge and confidence; and the EBD Knowledge, Attitudes and Confidence Evaluation, an assessment that was developed and validated by the dental school at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Dr. Niederman, director of the Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry at the Forsyth Institute, and Dr. Derek Richards, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry at Oxford University, led the course, which links the ADA Center for EBD initiatives with the Forsyth Institute’s scientific research. Presenters also included Dr. Elliot Abt, attending dentist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, on statistics; Dr. Analia Veitz-Keenan, clinical assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology, radiology and medicine at New York University, on accreditation standards for EBD; and Julie Frantsve-Hawley, Ph.D., director of the ADA Research Institute and Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, on ADA EBD resources.

The sessions also covered implementing best evidence in clinical practice and teaching; asking precise, structured clinical questions; finding the best evidence through a laptop computer; rapid critical reading and appraisal; using evidence-based clinical guidelines and recommendations and systematic reviews; understanding clinical trial design (therapy, diagnosis and qualitative assessment); and how to navigate the ADA EDB website to find critical summaries of systematic reviews.

Dr. Frank Graham, an orthodontist from Teaneck, N.J., former chair of the ADA’s Council on Dental Practice and current board member of the American Dental Political Action Committee, enrolled in the course to better learn how to assess the validity of the research he reads and how it is applicable to his practice.

“I came away with feeling that I had gained a much better insight into assessing a study as to its design, methodology, statistical analysis, and most importantly, what, if any, clinical significance can be gained from the conclusion,” Dr. Graham said. “I would encourage anyone who would like to make clinical literature more accessible and user friendly to take the course.”

For more information, visit the ADA EBD website at

IMAGE: Instructors and participants at the ADA/Forsyth Evidence-Based Dentistry course
Evidence seekers: Instructors and participants at the ADA/Forsyth Evidence-Based Dentistry course include: top row (left to right): Buck Hanson, Peter Loomer, Cheryl Straub-Morarend, Tara Meachum, Eileen Hoskin, Amer Al Saif, Sara Filstrup, Clayton Pesillo, Mark Fitzgerald, Lewis Lampert, Michelle Hamilton, Lynne Slim, Gustavo Oliveira and Phillip Woods. Third row: Jay Anderson, Scott DuBois, Michal Staninec, David Satloff, Sawsan Tabbaa, Ricardo Boyce, David Schirmer, Ron Zentz, Indru Punwani, Evren Kilinc, Abdullah Marghalani, Zahid Ahmed and Frank Graham. Second row: Theresa Marshall, David Levenson, Lisa Chung, Richard Doff, Othman Shibly, Fabricio Teixeira, Mine Tezal, Annie Hughes, Suzi Seale, Gay Baughman, Lara Reid and Joan Phelan. First row: Derek Richards, Rick Niederman, Analia Veitz-Keenan, Julie Frantsve-Hawley and Elliot Abt.