The American Journal of Esthetic Dentistry



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The American Journal of Esthetic Dentistry 3 (2013), No. 4     20. Dec. 2013
The American Journal of Esthetic Dentistry 3 (2013), No. 4  (20.12.2013)

Page 228-233

The Wrong Sort of Answer
Chambers, David W.
The goal of clinical research is to render the investigator's claim either true or false. Practitioners seek information that will make their practices more efficient and especially more predictable. Recent advances in the standards for clinical trials have produced welcome improvements in the internal validity of dental science; nonetheless, the issue of translating the literature into practice remains largely unaddressed. This paper presents two methods with which practitioners can blend information unique to their practices with good randomized controlled trials. First, Bayes formula, in a very simple form, can be used to adjust expectations from research in controlled settings for use in individual practices. Second, a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet operation can be used to convert data typically given in research reports into estimates of the clinical failure probability when a given material or method is adopted into practice.
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