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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 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." Retrieved from

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. Retrieved from:

Assignment Requirements & Grading Rubric

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.

Choose a current research topic in dental hygiene.  Tip: Need help finding a topic? Link to our Full-Text Finder of electronic journals, then click  the category for "Dentistry". Click on the links to the database for a particular journal and follow the links to browse or search current issues of each journal title.  You may also search for "dental hygiene" to get publications which are more specific to your field.

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.
  • A References page citing your articles in APA format.

Additional guidelines linked below.

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