evidence-based periodontics: a paradigm shift in clinical practice
Evidence-based periodontology is a decision-making tool for integrating the best available evidence with clinical practice and improve patient outcomes. It is a process based on combining properly conducted current research, clinical expertise and patient values. Research and clinical practice are two different yet inter-related disciplines that cannot be separated. Research principles need to be applied clinically to gather evidence and clinical practice needs research evidence to justify treatment decisions. Evidence-based periodontology is not simply systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials; it is essentially an approach to patient-care. Clinicians who practice ‘evidence-based periodontics’ make decisions that are based not just on their own personal experience but on the findings from research that is annually published worldwide. Still not all research is equal. Critical appraisal allows us to be able to read research papers and decide which results are most likely to reflect the truth in nature. To apply, implement and monitor evidence, we need to ensure that the evidence we are looking at can be translated into our own clinical environments. One of the concepts recently introduced into the world of evidence is “Patient reported outcomes”, they are essential measures of therapeutic success and are now being considered as a primary outcome measure in most clinical trials. Patient reported outcomes are patients' self-perceptions about the consequences of periodontal therapy which are used to measure treatment effects. However, there are insufficient data in the field of periodontology related to scale development methodology and consequently periodontal literature lacks a specific scale that could reflect patients' perception towards periodontal therapy. Recently, clinical trials published in major journals are currently utilizing such tools. Accordingly, it would be essential to highlight important concepts regarding evidence-based periodontics and recognize further perceptions towards an internationally spoken language.