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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 5 (2008), Issue 2, Pages 123-128

Transitioning toward Evidence-Based Research in the Health Sciences for the XXI Century

1Division of Oral Biology & Medicine, UCLA School of Dentistry, Los Angeles CA, USA
2Dental Group of Sherman Oaks, Inc., Los Angeles, CA, USA

Received 2 June 2007; Accepted 18 July 2007

Copyright © 2008 Francesco Chiappelli and Olivia S. Cajulis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article discusses some of the misconceptions of evidence-based research in the health sciences. It proposes that since not all treatments in medicine and dentistry can be evidence-based, clinical applications of the evidence-based process should become a specialty. The case is particularly evident in dentistry. Therefore dentistry is taken in this article as a model for discussion. We propose that to approach dentistry from the viewpoint of the patient-oriented evidence that matters (POEM) is perfectly acceptable so far as we also engage in the process of research evaluation and appraisal in dentistry (READ). We distinguish between dentistry based on the evidence, and evidence-based dentistry. We argue that when invoking an evidence-based approach to dentistry or medicine, it is not sufficient to establish the ‘levels of evidence’, but rather that all evidence-based clinical intervention must undergo the stringent process of evidence-based research so that clinical practice guidelines be revised based on the best available evidence.