Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature



Dental evidence

As part of a wider piece of work I’ve been looking through the search logs and clickstream data associated with the dental specialty.  It’s interesting, and the following information is based on the 1,100+ registered users on Trip who have ticked the clinical specialty of dentistry. 

Top twenty search terms, most frequently used at the top

  • caries
  • gingivitis
  • periodontitis
  • dentistry
  • orthodontics
  • dental caries
  • dental implants
  • restorative dentistry
  • periodontal disease
  • oral cancer
  • Caries Risk Assessment
  • Medical errors
  • dental public health
  • fluoride
  • hypnosis
  • dental materials
  • endodontic outcome
  • pit and fissure sealants
  • pediatric dentistry
  • Patient Safety

And the top twenty articles are as follows:

  1. Pregnancy and gingival inflammation – Dental Elf
  2. Patients with Amalgam Restorations Are Not at a Significantly Greater Risk for Developing Health Complications Than Those With Composite Restorations – UTHSCSA Dental CATs
  3. The Use of Dental Crowns for Vital and Endodontically Treated Teeth: A Review of the Clinical and Cost-Effectiveness and Guidelines – CADTH
  4. Dental interventions to prevent caries in children – SIGN
  5. Dental Implants and Conventional Prosthetics: Comparative Clinical Effectiveness and Safety – CADTH
  6. Composite Resin and Amalgam Dental Filling Materials: A Review of Safety, Clinical Effectiveness and Cost-effectiveness – CADTH
  7. Conscious (Moderate) Sedation Can Be Used Safely On Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea – UTHSCSA Dental CATs
  8. Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults – AHRQ
  9. 12-Year Survival of Composite vs. Amalgam Restorations – J Dent Res.
  10. Methods of Diagnosis and Treatment in Endodontics – SBU
  11. A Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing At-Home and In-Office Tooth Whitening Techniques: A Nine-Month Follow-up – J Am Dent Assoc.
  12. Composite resin and amalgam dental filling materials: a review of safety, clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness – NHS CRD (HTA record of number 6 above!)
  13. Fluoride varnishes for preventing dental caries in children and adolescents – Cochrane
  14. Community Water Fluoridation in Canada ? Trends, Benefits, and Risks – National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health
  15. Flossing for the management of periodontal diseases and dental caries in adults – Cochrane
  16. Interventions for replacing missing teeth: antibiotics at dental implant placement to prevent complications – Cochrane
  17. Oral Appliance Therapy and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Demonstrate Similar Improvements in the Treatment of Mild/ Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea – UTHSCSA Dental CATs
  18. Cost-effectiveness of a long-term dental health education program for the prevention of early childhood caries – NHS EED
  19. Prosthetic rehabilitation of partially dentate or edentulous patients – SBU
  20. Primary clinical care manual (7th edition, 2011) – The State of Queensland (Queensland Health) and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section)


Communicating the evidence ‘types’

Those who use Trip will possibly have noticed small thumbnails to the right of each search result (see image 1 below).  The idea is that they are a small screenshot of the actual page which people can rollover to see a preview of the actual result  They are problematic as it’s currently broken so we only have screenshots for around half of them.  Also, they are moderately resource intensive.

So, we need to decide to fix them or remove them or replace them with something else – hence this post.

One idea I’ve got is to use the space to give additional information to users to help them understand the evidence they’re looking at.  For instance, we could use it to give a clearer idea of the likely strength of evidence.  We currently do this via the use of colour flashes but unfortunately many people miss this.  The colour flashes link the individual article to the colours used in the filter section (so green indicates higher quality evidence etc.).  Below are some images that are an attempt to show what it might look like.  I’d appreciate you looking at them (click on the image to enlarge it) and then go to this survey to let us know what you think.  There are only 4 questions so it shouldn’t take long.

Thank you in advance.

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