Sinking Their Teeth into Choosing Wisely
This summer, the American Dental Association (ADA) became the first dental organization to join the Choosing Wisely® campaign. ADA joins more than 70 national medical specialty societies that have released evidence-based recommendations about tests and treatments to encourage conversations between patients and clinicians about what care is appropriate.
“Our overriding goal in participating in Choosing Wisely is to help people be more educated,” said Cesar R. Sabates, DDS, chair of the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations. “We see participating in Choosing Wisely as an important opportunity to help foster informed conversations between patients and their dentists.”
The ADA’s participation in Choosing Wisely was funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To create their list of “Five Things Dentists and Patients Should Question,” a workgroup comprising primarily ADA members serving on the evidence-based dentistry team identified an initial list of potential recommendations for inclusion. To ensure the recommendations encompassed the complete field of oral health, ADA invited experts from other oral health disciplines, including cariology, periodontics, oral surgery and pediatric dentistry, to join the workgroup and contribute recommendations. In addition, ADA partnered with Consumer Reports to support clinician/patient conversations by creating patient-friendly materials, including a “Which dental treatments are right for you?” brochure and statements for clinicians and patients.
Written in plain language, these materials are intended to help patients understand what questions they should ask their oral health care providers about common dental concerns, such as:
- appropriate treatment of jaw pain,
- what type of toothpaste children should use and
- under what circumstances fillings should be replaced.
Consumer Reports has helped disseminate the materials through consumer and employer groups such as AARP and the National Business Group on Health.
“Becoming the first dental organization to partner with Choosing Wisely reinforces the ADA’s commitment to being the leading advocate of oral health and the premier source for trusted dental information,” said Dr. Sabates.
Learn more about the ADA’s participation in Choosing Wisely at ADA.org/ChoosingWisely.