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Letter From Dear Doctor

Issue 14 of Dear Doctor Magazine

Evidence-based health care — what does it really mean?

Evidence-based health care is the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individuals or the delivery of health services. Evidence-based practice is an approach to decision-making in which healthcare professionals use the best evidence available, in consultation with their patients, to decide which option for care is best. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available clinical evidence from systematic research. Archie Cochrane in his influential book, Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services published in 1972 stressed the importance of using evidence from randomized controlled trials because these were likely to provide much more reliable information than other sources of evidence. Cochrane's simple propositions were soon widely accepted.

While there is much research, not all is unbiased, controlled or randomized. It is only research findings that conform to these specific criteria that are classified as evidence-based. Making evidence-based information understandable has its challenges. Our goal is to not only make health care information educational, understandable and entertaining, but based upon known facts. Healthcare is a wonderful combination of science and art, with a significant amount of caring and experience added to the mix. Our articles, features, consultations and more ñ are all evidence-based wherever possible, taken from the most up to date research sources. If not available, data from tried and tested clinical research and practice forms the next best basis for our publication.

Just look at how this approach is typified in this issue's feature articles. In Natural Beauty & Your Skin, Drs. Rodan and Fields have distilled years of evidence-based and empirical research into changing skin and changing lives, their passion. The challenge of publishing a truly surgical article in a magazine and making it “palatable” is not insignificant, but based on the evidence, Dr. Robert London's article on Periodontal Flap Surgery, describes how it is more predictable and more comfortable than ever before. Dr. Brian LeSage brings his particular work of art and science to Customized Temporary Restorations, describing in a way that is almost unique to dentistry, how changes to teeth and a smile can be made, tried and tested in a predictable way — before final changes are ever made.

By way of this background and clarification of our earnest-most goals, we diligently strive to accurately report what is truly known, so that you can continue to make sound healthcare decisions along with your healthcare professionals. We once again thank you for gracing us with your readership.


Mario A.Vilardi, DMD

Garry A.Rayant, BDS, DDS, LDSRCS, MS