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DHYG 2201: Literature Reviews: Supporting Evidence-Based Practice in Dental Hygiene

Sources and strategies for locating evidence-based information for dental hygiene


The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to scientific peer-reviewed journal information that is available to you as a dental hygiene professional and understand the role of research in evidence- based dental hygiene practice.

Your literature review will need to include:

  • A minimum of three (3) peer-reviewed references, published during last five years.
  • A maximum of one (1) page per article reviewed.
  • A copy of each of the peer–reviewed articles that you have chosen.
  • References page citing your articles in APA format.

Additional guidelines linked below.

The Lone Star College-Kingwood Library has access to a few journal publications you can browse to find topics.  

Journal of Dental Hygiene - Scholarly and technical articles on dental hygiene practice, education and research.

International Journal of Dental Hygiene - Focuses on the latest scientific news, commissioned reviews as well as clinical, professional and educational developmental and legislative news to the profession world-wide.

Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene - Features articles, and reports about clinical dental hygiene practice, research, educational curricula, professional concerns and other related subjects.

Journal of Dental Specialties - Dental assisting and hygiene articles. 

You also have access to reference medical books which may give you ideas to pursue.

Oral Health and Nutrition by Palmer, et. al. from StaRef! Database. 

Dental Public Health from the Oxford Textbook of Global Public Health


Try to be as specific as possible with your topics. What are you specifically trying to research?  Here are some topics from past semesters.  Some of these are still quite broad, so think of ways to narrow and focus on a question. 

  • Effectiveness of sealants and fluoride varnish on dental caries in children aged 2-12 years old
  • How does later breastfeeding affect a young child's new teeth?
  • e-cigarettes or vapes and oral health
  • dental hygiene and low-income families 
  • relationship between sleep and oral health in adults
  • Noonan's syndrome in children
  • oral health as it relates to overall physical health
  • aromatherapy or music therapy for dental anxiety
  • tobacco consumption and oral health
  • fluoride concentration and effects
  • carbonated beverages and sparkling water effect on dental health
  • periodontal diseases 
  • oil pulling and other DIY remedies and oral health
  • relation of mouthwash use and blood pressure
  • salivaMax and links to cancer
  • oral health and relation to cardiovascular disease
  • selective polishing
  • beta-amyloid plaques and oral health as it relates to dementia and Alzheimer's 
  • charcoal toothpaste and oral health
  • at home teeth whitening and oral health
  • periodontitis and cancer
  • gingivitis trauma and toothpicks
  • autoimmune diseases and oral health symptoms
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and oral health
  • aspartame and other artificial sweeteners effects on oral health

The Importance of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)

Evidence-based practice is an important concept in all health care fields. It is also referred to as EBP or may be adapted for the field in which it is used, for example, Evidence Based Dentistry (EBD).

Evidence-based decision-making (Forest, 2002)

Dental hygiene care is evidence-based and this evidence is found in peer refereed studies and journal articles. The American Dental Association defines Evidence-Based Dentistry (EBD)  as:

Evidence-based dentistry is an approach to oral health care that requires the judicious integration of systematic assessments of clinically relevant scientific evidence, relating to the patient's oral and medical condition and history, with the dentist's clinical expertise and the patient's treatment needs and preferences. 1

There are five steps in Evidence-Based Practice 2:

  1. Asking a Well-Defined, Focused Question
  2. Finding the Evidence
  3. Critical Appraisal of the Evidence
  4. Making a Decision
  5. Evaluating Performance

This guide will focus on the first two steps in this process in order to help you complete a brief literature review of a current clinical topic in dental hygiene.

1American Dental Association. (2013, August 29). "Policy on Evidence-Based Dentistry." 

2CEBM: Centre for Evidence Based Medicine. (n.d.). "Tools: EBM tools for the five stages of Evidence-Based Medicine."   Retrieved from

Figure: Forrest, J.L. & Miller, S. A. (2005). Evidence-based decision making: A new term for a new concept. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, 3(9): 12. 

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