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GUEST EDITORIAL  
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1
Research in dentistry: Who needs it?


Reader, Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Associate Editor, Journal of Conservative Dentistry Research Consultant, Chennai Dental Research Foundation, CDRF, India

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Date of Web Publication13-Feb-2014
 

How to cite this article:
Krithikadatta J. Research in dentistry: Who needs it?. J Educ Ethics Dent 2013;3:1

How to cite this URL:
Krithikadatta J. Research in dentistry: Who needs it?. J Educ Ethics Dent [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Dec 10];3:1. Available from: http://www.jeed.in/text.asp?2013/3/1/1/126932


Dental research in Indian scenario is at large the result of a requirement in the post-graduate curriculum. The scope of a research project is possibly looked as a requirement for 'partial fulfillment' and not as a continuum to elevate the source of knowledge. As a person who is passionate about research, I have always wondered as to why post-graduate students deal with the dissertation as a need-to-do exercise? A quick questioning of the students' minds revealed that they are not aware of the relevance of research. They perceive research as a far flown science and they would probably not choose research as a career option, and hence do not feel the need to understand its relevance.

This deficiency among post-graduate students could probably be a result of inadequate focus on the implications of research in our under-graduate curriculum. The learning format is focused on acquiring theoretical knowledge and its application in clinical practice. Contrary to this, a learning process of starting with the problem of the patient and trying to find answers in solving this problem would constantly involve the students in asking relevant questions. This method of "problem-based learning" when engaged with applying the current best evidence to solve the problem results in "evidence based practice". To be more specific, "evidence based practice is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decision about the care for individual patients." [1] This is not a unique skill that needs to be acquired, but is inherent in our thought process while making day-to-day logical decisions. For example, if we need to buy a car, we gather evidence by enquiring about the specifications that best suit our requirements. Similarly, evidence based practice is a combination of clinical expertise, current best evidence and patient's needs in solving our patient's problem. Clinical expertise comes with years of experience and current best knowledge comes from research publications that constantly fill the lacunae in knowledge. Hence the people who do research (researchers), bring out clinically meaningful knowledge and people who use research (clinicians) can sometimes be faced with problems (research question) for which answers have not been found.

So I personally feel that research is an integral part of our profession since we are constantly engaging research. Having said that, it is important for one to identify good and useful research by way of critical appraisal of research articles. In order to do that, one must be equipped with the understanding of how the problem was solved (study design) and in how many patients was it studied (sample size). While engaging ourselves in research, we probably should also realize that most research (quantitative research) documents the answers to a research question in the form of numbers. The only way to analyze these numbers is by applying the science of probabilities: bio-statistics, thus making it necessary to understand statistical methods. This may seem overwhelming if research was dealt as a separate subject, but it would seem conventional if it were used as a working tool in our clinical practice or research carrier. As dental professionals, either as researchers or as clinicians, we can choose to love it or hate it, but cannot afford to ignore it.

 
   References Top

1.Sackett DL, Rosenberg WM, Gray JA, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: What it is and what it isn't. BMJ 1996;312:71-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
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Correspondence Address:
Jogikalmat Krithikadatta
Reader, Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Associate Editor, Journal of Conservative Dentistry Research Consultant, Chennai Dental Research Foundation, CDRF
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-7761.126932

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