Symposium on "Engaging the Dental Team: Evidence-Based Decision Making through Participation in Practice-Based Research" takes place in Midwest Region

Debra Sidd, RDH, RF, MEd has been a dental hygiene educator for more than 30 years. Over the last year as part of a sabbatical project, Sidd partnered with National Dental PBRN Midwest Regional staff and practitioners as well as the Minnesota Dental Association’s Evidence-based Dentistry Taskforce, the Minnesota Dental Hygiene Educators Association, and her own institution Normandale Community College to develop an event promoting involvement of the entire dental team in practice-based research activities. Witnessing the enthusiasm of her baccalaureate students toward practice-based research as a way to support engagement in evidence-based decision making, Sidd wished to create an opportunity to bring together practicing professionals to learn more about the process. “With the new National Dental PBRN just announced in April, the timing was right to get new members involved and with an approach reflecting the reality of teams in practice” said Sidd.

The event took place Friday, May 11th, 2012 at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. 110 participants included dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental assistants, dental office administrative staff, educators and students, researchers and research librarians, and industry partners. Participants responded very positively to the team approach.

Invited guest speakers Syrene Miller, BS, LDA and Gregg Miller, DDS presented a keynote address on practical ways to engage best evidence into clinical decision making using real life examples including a challenging trauma case managed in Dr. Miller’s practice. They also led hands-on activities on developing effective PICO questions and search strategies for busy clinicians.

National Dental PBRN practitioners who participated in studies shared experiences of their involvement and the impact on their practice in a panel moderated by Dr. Pat Foy, National Dental PBRN Midwest Region Executive Committee member. Questions such as, “What do you perceive has been the benefit of your involvement?” and “What have you learned about ways to engage the whole team in practice?based research or evidence?based thinking?” led to an engaging discussion and questions from the audience.

A poster session was held to disseminate results from DPBRN studies:

  • Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Doug Shamp, DDS and Donna Shamp, Office Manager
  • Blood Glucose Testing in Dental Practice Don Worley, DDS
  • Hygienists' Internet Tobacco Cessation Study Mike Schafhauser, DDS
  • Peri-operative and Persistent Pain and Root Canal Therapy Alan Law, DDS, PhD and Dawn Wogan, LDA
  • Patient Satisfaction with Dental Restorations Pat Foy, DDS
  • So how do I do research in my practice? Emily Durand, RDH and Sarah Basile, RDH, MPH, Regional Coordinators

Involvement of guest speakers was made possible through generous sponsorship from the Minnesota Dental Hygiene Educators Association, Benco Dental and Dentsply. A discussion session on next steps followed the meeting with plans to engage regional leaders in organized dentistry and dental hygiene in the fall of 2012. Contact: