A practical approach to evidence-based dentistry: III
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BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW: Dental practitioners spend most of their time administering treatments. To ensure that their clinical decisions are informed by the best available evidence, dental practitioners need to be skilled in critically appraising studies addressing therapy issues. Randomized controlled trials offer the optimal study design to inform decisions regarding therapy. The critical appraisal of randomized controlled trials involves assessing the risk of bias, results, and applicability. In this article, the authors present these concepts and provide guidance for this type of appraisal. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Dentists who wish to inform their clinical decisions regarding therapy and prevention questions can use these guidelines to decide what type of studies to search, define the specific question of interest to search efficiently for these studies, and critically appraise an article about therapy or prevention.
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