Derek Richards

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Derek Richards is the Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry, Editor of the Evidence-based Dentistry Journal, Consultant in Dental Public Health with Forth Valley Health Board and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Dundee & Glasgow Dental Schools. He helped to establish both the Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry and the Evidence-based Dentistry Journal. He has been involved with teaching EBD and a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994.

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Titanium or biodegradable osteosyntheses in orthognathic surgery?

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This review assessing the efficacy and morbidity of biodegradable vs. titanium osteosyntheses in orthognathic surgery included 33 studies 11 of which were RCTs. The findings suggest that biodegradable osteosyntheses is a valid alternative to titanium osteosyntheses for orthognathic surgery, but the quality of evidence is low.

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Oral cancer – adjunctive diagnostic tests

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This Cochrane review update was to estimate the diagnostic accuracy of index tests for the detection of oral cancer and oral potentially malignant disorders, in people presenting with clinically evident suspicious and innocuous lesions.

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Treatments for cavitated or dentine carious lesions

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This Cochrane review of interventions to treat carious lesions conventionally considered to require restorations in primary or permanent teeth with vital pulps included 27 RCTs. Compared with conventional treatment there were lower numbers of failures with the Hall technique and selective excavation (SE) in primary teeth and with SE and stepwise removal in permanent teeth.

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Lasers for treatment of dentine hypersensitivity?

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This Cochrane review of the effectiveness of lasers in the treatment of dentine hypersensitivity included 23 RCTs. The findings suggest that lasers may reduce pain intensity at short, medium, or long term when compared to placebo/no treatment. However the evidence is limited and of low to very low certainty.

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Oral proliferative verrucous leukoplakia and the rate of malignant transformation

Leukoplakia , Verrucous

This review of the evidence on the malignant transformation of oral proliferative verrucous leukoplakia included 17 mainly retrospective observational studies. The overall estimate for malignant transformation was 43.87% (95% CI; 31.93 to 56.13) but only 4 studies were at low risk of bias.

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Tooth loss during long-term periodontal maintenance

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This review evaluating risk factors / predictors of tooth loss in patients with periodontitis having periodontal therapy and long-term periodontal maintenance (PM) included 33 studies only 3 of which were prospective. There findings suggest that patients having long-term PM suffer the loss of 1 tooth per patient every 10 years.

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Orthodontic retainers and periodontal health

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This review comparing the effects of vacuum-formed retainers (VFR) and Hawley retainers (HR) on periodontal health included 6 RCTs. While the findings suggests a statistical benefit in favour of HR in the short term the studies are small, short-term and most ( 5) were considered to be at high risk of bias.

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Sinus lift for implants in maxilla – graft or not?

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This review of the efficacy of graftless maxillary sinus membrane elevation using the lateral window approach for implantation in the atrophic maxilla included 9 RCTs. While some difference between grafted and graftless sinus lifts were shown at 6 months only a limited number of small short term trials were available.

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Prevalence of burning mouth syndrome

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This review evaluating the worldwide prevalence and epidemiology profile of burning mouth syndrome included 18 studies. Population based studies suggest an overall prevalence of 1.73% and clinically-based studies a 7.72% prevalence.

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Endodontic surgery: Adjunctive regenerative techniques

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This review of the influence of different regenerative techniques and materials on the outcome of endodontic surgery includes 11 RCTs. The findings suggest that regenerative approaches improve periapical lesion healing after endodontic surgery. However the studies are small and only 2 are at low risk of bias.

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