In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Evidence-Based Pediatric Dentistry

  • Introduction
  • Books
  • Journals
  • Evidence-Based Clinical Guidelines
  • Restorative Dentistry
  • Diet
  • Fluorides
  • Nonfluoride Preventive Strategies
  • Behavioral Determinants of Health
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Clinical Research with Vulnerable Populations
  • Health Services Research
  • Cost and Comparative Effectiveness Research

Public Health Evidence-Based Pediatric Dentistry
Donald Chi
  • LAST REVIEWED: 27 February 2019
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 February 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0191


The practice of evidence-based pediatric dentistry is a mindful melding of three factors: knowledge gleaned from experimental and observational science; cumulative clinical experience; and family, caregiver, and child preferences that are bounded by resource constraints. The end goal is to provide dental care that optimizes health outcomes. However, scientific knowledge gaps and barriers to dissemination of knowledge to into practice place a disproportionate emphasis on clinical experience. In addition, paternalistic provider approaches may obscure patient preferences. The scientific literature in pediatric dentistry is growing rapidly. There are unresolved challenges associated with timely translation of available scientific evidence into clinical practice. These challenges include (i) low demand for science (e.g., knowledge acquisition being a low priority, not knowing where to find scientific resources, unwillingness to pay for resources), (ii) inadequate science literacy (e.g., understanding where the gaps are, knowing how to assess the quality and generalizability of the evidence), and (iii) translational barriers (e.g., applying the evidence to clinical practice, updating knowledge and practice iteratively). Because of increasing pressures to improve the quality of care and outcomes, reduce costs, and eliminate inequalities, there will continue to be a need for high-quality scientific evidence in pediatric dentistry. The demand for evidence will come from various stakeholder groups, including policymakers, health agencies, funding agencies, institutions, clinical guideline clearinghouses, care management organizations, professional organizations, insurance companies, clinicians, and families and caregivers. The following bibliography includes a carefully curated list of resources in pediatric dentistry to help promote evidence-based practice and policies.


There are number of seminal textbooks in pediatric dentistry, most of which are written by academic pediatric dentists in the United States (Nowak, et al. 2019; Dean 2015; Nowak and Casamassimo 2018) or Australia (Cameron and Widmer 2003). The textbook Berg and Slayton 2015 focuses on early childhood oral health. The Dental Clinics of North America published an edited volume focusing on evidence-based pediatric dentistry (Chi 2017).

  • Berg, J. H., and R. L. Slayton, eds. 2015. Early childhood oral health. 2d ed. Ames, IA: Wiley.

    Textbook focuses on early childhood oral health for children under six years of age.

  • Cameron, A. C., and R. P. Widmer. 2003. Handbook of pediatric dentistry. 2d ed. Edinburgh, UK: Mosby.

    Textbook from Australia includes high-resolution clinical photos to accompany didactic materials.

  • Chi, D. L., ed. 2017. Evidence-based pediatric dentistry. Dental Clinics of North America 61.3. Philadelphia: Elsevier.

    Edited volume of papers authored by experts in the field on clinical, scientific, and policy topics related to evidence-based pediatric dentistry.

  • Dean, J. A. 2015. MacDonald and Avery’s dentistry for the child and adolescent. 10th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

    Seminal textbook that covers didactic and clinical materials related to pediatric dentistry.

  • Nowak, A., and P. A. Casamassimo, eds. 2018. The handbook of pediatric dentistry. 5th ed. Chicago: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

    Summary of important clinical and policy-related topics in pediatric dentistry.

  • Nowak A. J, J. R. Christensen, T. Mabry, J. A. Townsend, and M. H. Wells, eds. 2019. Pediatric dentistry: Infancy through adolescence. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders.

    Seminal textbook that adopts a developmental perspective and reviews pediatric dentistry topics by stage of childhood.

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