Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry

: 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 107-

Importance of clinical research in dentistry

Sekar Mahalaxmi, Monisha Khatri 
 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, SRM Dental College, Ramapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sekar Mahalaxmi
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, SRM Dental College, Ramapuram, Chennai - 600 089, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Mahalaxmi S, Khatri M. Importance of clinical research in dentistry.J Interdiscip Dentistry 2021;11:107-107

How to cite this URL:
Mahalaxmi S, Khatri M. Importance of clinical research in dentistry. J Interdiscip Dentistry [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 25 ];11:107-107
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Full Text

Imagine working in the first dental chair developed by S. S. White around 1871 when compared to the sophisticated, multipurpose, and most comfortable dental chairs of the 21st century. The modifications and improvements have been undertaken to ameliorate the standard of working and comfort for both the dentist and the patient. In the field of dentistry, the hierarchy of evolution in materials, instruments, or restorative procedures has only been possible by performing clinical studies and striving hard to invent the ideal. This stems from first the idea, followed by designing the study protocol, and then the actual research that requires a team effort, complete dedication in addition to resources, and funding to carry out unbiased work. The research carried out might be in vitro, i.e., studies conducted in laboratory under normal conditions, ex vivo means using cells, tissues, or organs from an animal or human and performing the experiment outside the body under simulated conditions, or in vivo, carried out as animal studies or human trials.

The importance of clinical studies cannot be less emphasized. No amount of in vitro studies can replicate the clinical scenario and cannot be translated to in vivo conditions. Uniform, ideal environment can only be created in laboratory settings; standardization of clinical studies is a herculean task; however, their results can be directly applied to clinical situations.

Most clinical studies are broadly categorized as interventional or observational studies. Interventional studies may be randomized or nonrandomized trials, while case–control, cross-sectional, and cohort studies, as well as case reports and series fall under observational studies. In the hierarchy of research, systematic reviews and meta-analysis take the top position, while randomized controlled trials (RCTs) follow close behind. RCTs provide the strongest empirical evidence of efficacy of a treatment/procedure, since allocation bias and other confounding factors are kept to a minimal. Hence, more and more RCTs blinded or otherwise are the need of the hour, to ultimately improve the quality of service we provide to our patients.