Dr Pandis completed his degree in dental surgery at the University of Athens, Greece and his orthodontic specialty training and Master of Science Degree at The Ohio State University, USA. He completed a fellowship in craniofacial orthodontics at the University of Texas, Dallas, USA. He holds a Dr. Med Dent in orthodontic biomechanics from the University of Bonn, Germany and a Master of Science (MSc) in clinical trials from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK. He received his PhD in Epidemiology from the Department of Hygiene & Epidemiology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Greece.
He has completed his habilitation, and is a Privatdozent at the Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, University of Bern, Switzerland and an external tutor for the International Masters in clinical trials at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK.
He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics where he manages the randomised controlled trial submissions and writes a monthly column on research design methodology.
The quality of the evidence in dental research
This lecture will focus on the quality of evidence in dental research. The presentation will explore the concept of evidence-based dentistry. The status of research in the field will be presented, focusing primarily on results from personal studies on the topic. Good quality randomised clinical trials and systematic reviews are highly desirable as sources of evidence. It is evident that the number of randomised trials and systematic reviews has increased dramatically over the last 20 years, however a lot remains to be done.
Common and recurring problems in clinical trials include methodological issues not appropriately considered at the design and conduct stage of the trials but also incomplete and inaccurate, and at times misleading, reporting of trial results. For systematic reviews a similar pattern is evident, with Cochrane reviews being superior in terms of methodology and reporting compared to non-Cochrane systematic reviews. The quality of the evidence from Cochrane and non-Cochrane systematic reviews using the GRADE tool is mainly low or very low reflecting the lack of high quality randomised trials in dentistry to populate systematic reviews. The concept of research waste resulting from conducting studies of poor methodology and poor reporting which lead to results that cannot be trusted and/or reports that cannot be used will be introduced. Finally, suggestions for improvement of trial reporting and conduct within orthodontics will be made with positive findings from recent initiatives highlighted.