News and systematic reviews from Cochrane Oral Health
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Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

Autumn 2017

Welcome to the Autumn 2017 edition of our quarterly newsletter! Find news of what we've been up to this summer, plus our new publications. There's also a bumper set of training courses and workshops for you to browse, all taking place towards the end of the year in the UK, Denmark, India, Australia, Malaysia, Germany and the US. Keep in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter and our blog.


Title registration suspended

Cochrane Oral Health are currently undertaking an extensive prioritisation exercise, looking at which of our existing systematic review titles should be updated, and scoping out new areas for evidence synthesis.

As a result, we have suspended our usual title registration process until the prioritisation exercise is complete. 

If you would like to suggest a topic we should consider for prioritisation that is not covered by an existing Cochrane Oral Health review, please fill out our form, giving more details. Please note that this is not our usual title registration process and is not a method of submitting a title registration application. A complete list of registered titles, published reviews and protocols is available on our website.

Free trial access to Cochrane's new interactive learning course

Cochrane Training have launched a new online course on conducting an intervention review. The course provides over 10 hours of self-directed learning on the complete systematic review process, and is intended for both new and experienced review authors. 

Access is free until 13 October 2017. After this date, you will have to pay a subscription for access unless you are a Cochrane author, translator, consumer referee, or a contributor who resides in a HINARI A or B country.

Find out more.

Welcome to Jo Dumville

Dr. Jo Dumville has joined Cochrane Oral Health as an editor. Jo is a senior lecturer in health sciences, and works at the University of Manchester's Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work.

Jo joins us as a result of our close working relationship with Cochrane Wounds, with whom she has worked for some time, and who are also based at the University of Manchester. Jo has expertise in the design and conduct of epidemiological research such as randomised controlled trials and cohort studies. She has conducted a number of systematic reviews and has employed further evidence synthesis approaches, including mixed treatment comparison meta-analysis. Jo has also been involved in a number of cost-effectiveness evaluations including assessment of expected value of further information. She brings considerable methodological expertise to the role and we look forward to working with her. Read more.

Cochrane Oral Health goes to the Global Evidence Summit

The Global Evidence Summit was held in September in Cape Town, South Africa. Co-ordinating Editors Jan Clarkson and Helen Worthington were there, with Editor Tanya Walsh and Information Specialist Anne Littlewood. The Global Evidence Summit brought together five different groups of global evidence producers, who were united at one event for the first time. Along with representatives from Cochrane, people attended from the Joanna Briggs Institute, the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N), the Campbell Collaboration and the International Society for Evidence-Based Healthcare. 1,400 people from 77 countries attended. Cochrane Oral Health and Tanya Walsh were featured in the second plenary, when our collaboration with the American Dental Association to produce an evidence-based guideline on oral cancer was presented as a pioneer example of an evidence ecosystem in action.

Cochrane Oral Health at the Edinburgh Fringe

Cochrane Oral Health's Co-ordinating Editor Jan Clarkson took to the stage in August to perform at the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, Jan presented the results of a £3 million trial with Craig Ramsay, Head of Chief Scientist’s Office Research Unit. Her controversial topic was "Start skipping the dentist!", challenging what we think we know about routine oral examinations... 

James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership 

The James Lind Alliance is currently running a survey, to identify the answered questions related to oral and dental health from clinical and patient perspectives. The interventions might include policies, health promotion, diagnosis, treatment, service delivery and psychological interventions. Take part in the survey, and find out more about how the process works here.

Unlimited access to the Cochrane Library for people in India and South Africa

Students, practitioners, researchers, and patients in India and South Africa will now have access to more than 7,000 published systematic reviews in healthcare interventions through one-click access to the Cochrane Library. In India, Cochrane and Wiley (the publisher of the Cochrane Library) are in collaboration with the National Medical Library to offer this free access, through IP recognition. The new agreement will provide more than 1.3 billion residents of India availability to the gold standard in evidence-based healthcare research. The license will run from 2017 to 2020. Find out more.

In South Africa, Wiley and Cochrane are partnering with the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to provide free access through IP recognition. The SAMRC’s Cochrane Centre recently procured a national Cochrane Library licence, this has been made possible by funding from the SAMRC, and will enable all South Africans to access the gold-standard in evidence-based healthcare research. Find out more.

Blogshots - an easier way to share Cochrane Oral Health evidence!

Cochrane Oral Health now has a range of blogshots available for use on social media or in presentations. If you would like to promote the work of the group or want a handy summary of one of our reviews, you can access our blogshots here. There are some available in Spanish and Polish too.

Blogshots are a format that emerged from a #WeNurses chat on Twitter, and have been adopted by Cochrane UK as a way of sharing the results of systematic reviews in an accessible way. Read more here.

Meet the editors!

New on our website, Q&A sessions with three of our editors, Professor Bill ShawProfessor Sumanth Kumbargere Nagraj and Professor Giovanni Lodi. We'll be featuring more interviews with our editors over the coming months, so watch this space!
New and updated publications on the Cochrane Library

Review update: Pit and fissure sealants for preventing dental decay in permanent teeth

We published an update to this review in July. Fifteen studies compared resin-based sealants to no sealants and found that children who had sealant applied to their back teeth were less likely to have tooth decay in their back teeth than children with no sealant. We were able to combine data from seven of these studies (including two published since 2010), which involved children who were aged from 5 to 10 years when the sealants were applied. This showed that if 40% of back teeth develop decay over 24 months, using sealant reduces this to 6%. Similar benefits for resin-based sealants were shown up to four years. The effect appeared to persist when measured up to nine years, but there was less evidence. Read more

Review update: Open versus closed surgical exposure of canine teeth that are displaced in the roof of the mouth

An update of this review was published in August. We included three studies, involving 146 participants. Two studies were assessed as being at high risk of bias. We combined results from three studies and found that one technique did not seem to have an advantage over the other for ensuring the movement of the tooth into the correct position without the need for repeat surgery. The review team was led by Nicola Parkin at the University of Sheffield, and included our student interns Ismail Khalil and Saiba Ghafoor, who worked with Cochrane Oral Health last summer. Read more

New review: Pharmacological interventions for preventing dry mouth and salivary gland dysfunction following radiotherapy

This new review was published in the Cochrane Library in July. The research found that there is some low-quality evidence to suggest that the drug amifostine prevents the feeling of dry mouth in people receiving radiotherapy to the head and neck (with or without chemotherapy) in the short- (end of radiotherapy) to medium-term (three months after radiotherapy). However it is less clear whether or not this effect is sustained to 12 months after radiotherapy. The benefits of amifostine should be weighed against its high costs and side effects. Adverse effects of vomiting, low blood pressure, feeling of sickness and allergic response were all more frequent in those receiving amifostine. There was insufficient evidence to show that any other treatment is beneficial. Read more.

New protocol: Interventions for managing root caries

Root caries is a particular issue for people in old age. This new review led by Haiping Tan from Adelaide Dental School will look at the evidence on preventing, arresting and treating root caries lesions. Interventions considered will include the reduction of dietary carbohydrates, fluoride, chlorhexidine, casein phosphopeptide and ozone. Read more

New protocol: Topical silver diamine fluoride for managing dental caries in children and adults

This new protocol was published in July, the review team is led by Anjana Rajendra from New York University College of Dentistry. It aims to assess the effects of silver diamine fluoride in arresting and preventing caries in primary and permanent teeth (coronal and root caries) compared to any other intervention including placebo or no treatment. Read more.

Translations: Find Cochrane Oral Health evidence on our website in languages other than English

In the last few months, we have added reviews translated into Malaysian, Polish, Russian, French and German to our website. Find out more by visiting our June, July and August translations pages.


8th International Conference on Methodological Issues in Oral Health Research

This conference will take place in Hong Kong, 9-11 May 2018. Co-ordinating Editor Helen Worthington is a confirmed speaker, and will be giving a keynote presentation on the Editor's perspective on evidence based dentistry. Editor Tanya Walsh will also be presenting at the post-conference workshop on the 12th May. The deadline for early bird registration is 1 March 2018. Find out more.

Upcoming training opportunities

Preparation and completion of a Cochrane review
4 October, Copenhagen, Denmark

7th Guideline Development Workshop using the GRADE approach
4-6 October, Seattle, USA

Systematic reviews in medicine workshop
5-7 October, Freiburg, Germany

Searching trials registers and regulatory agency sources
11 October, York, UK

Developing a protocol for a Cochrane systematic review
16-20 October, Bagayam, Vellore, India

Advanced search techniques for systematic reviews, health technology assessment and guideline development
17 October, York, UK

Analysis methods for systematic reviews (RA3)
17 October, Oxford, UK

Advanced search strategy design for complex topics
18 October, York, UK

Advanced topics in the analysis and reporting of systematic reviews (RA4)
18 October, Oxford, UK

Software to support the systematic review process
19 October, York, UK

Developing a protocol for a Cochrane systematic review
7-9 November, Penang, Malaysia

Beginning a systematic review protocol workshop (RA1)
7 November, Oxford, UK

The methods section of the protocol workshop (RA2)
8 November, Oxford, UK

Introduction to systematic reviews in health
8 November, Southampton, UK

Completing a Cochrane systematic review
17 November - 1 December, Bagayam, Vellore, India

Writing a systematic review following Cochrane methods
6-8 December, Sydney, Australia


Cochrane Learning Live presents the following webinar which you can join online - sign up is free of charge.

CINeMA: confidence in network meta-analysis

There is a need to evaluate the credibility of network meta-analysis evidence in a systematic way. The CINeMA (Confidence in Network Meta-analysis) framework has been developed to judge the confidence that can be placed in results obtained from a network meta-analysis by adapting and extending the GRADE domains (study limitations, inconsistency, indirectness, imprecision and publication bias). The system is transparent and applicable to any network structure.

The webinar will be of particular interest to reviewers undertaking network meta-analysis, and editors evaluating network meta-analysis submissions.  You will learn more about the mothodology and there will be chance to see the web application itself. The link to the web application and an example dataset will be shared ahead of the webinar.

It will take place on Wednesday 18 October at 11:00 UTC. Sign up here.
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