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DEN230 - Dental Hygiene III: Finding Evidence

Evidence Based Practice in Dental Hygiene

Finding Professional Articles

EBSCO Dental &Oral Sciences Source.  Dental and Dental Hygiene journals only.  Included "Systematic Review", "Meta-Analysis" and/or "Evidence-Based" in your search to find Evidence-Based Practice and Evidence-Based Review articles.

CINAHL Cumulative Index to the Nursing and Allied Health Literature  Select Dental Care from the Special Interest limit menu and check off Evidence-Based Practice for Evidence-Based Practice articles from Dental journals.

CINAHL Tutorials and more

PubMed Free resource.  Detailed searching instructions in the Where Do I Start box.

PubMed Tutorials

How to search PubMed for Evidence Based Literature

Where Do I Start?

So you have a question-either about general oral health or a specific patient.  Start by thinking of the PICO.

Example:  Will an adult patient with sleep bruxism find that an occlusal splint reduces jaw muscle discomfort?

  • Identify the key concepts in your PICO.  Example:  Adult, Sleep Bruxism, Occlusal Splint, Pain (for Muscle Discomfort)
  • Use the concepts as search terms or to limit results.  Example:  Sleep Bruxism, Occlusal Splint, and Pain are search terms, while Adult is a limit in many databases
  • Pick where to search.  As students you have many options-when you're practicing you may be more limited. 
  • If you are using PubMed, log-in and search for MeSH headings.  Note related terms.  Combine your terms with AND
  • Choose limits:  start with Publication Dates:  5 years; Article Type:  Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis; and Journal Category Dental journals.  You can also limit by patient type (Adult, for example).
  • Too many articles?  Further limit your results by using MeSH Subheadings or with more limits.
  • Need more articles?  Try removing the Dental journals limit, especially if your topic relates to other fields of medicine.  Add additional Article Types.  Expand the date range to 10 years.
  • No luck?  Look at the MeSH subject tree for related terms, or search by keywords.
  • Find an article?  If you are logged in, you can select either Free Full Text or Wilkens Full Text to find full-text articles that are available to you.  If the article is not available request it from the Wilkens Library.
  • Email, Print, or Save the article (or other source) and its citation information.  This information is vital for citing and locationg your sources.  Note the authors and the journal title.  Many authors specialize on a topic.  Search publications focused on your topic to locate more articles.
  • Need more articles?  Search DOSS and CINAHL. Free sources include the ADA Center for Evidence Based Dentistry, Health Reference Center Academic (with a Massachusetts library card) and Google Scholar.  
  • Read your articles! Note where they agree and disagree with each other and with your own training and experience.  Evaluate the evidence they provide-is it statistically signficant?  How many patients were studied?  How long did the study last?  When were the articles published and when were they researched?  Become an expert on the evidence and use that knowledge to inform your opinion and your practice.