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The American Journal of Esthetic Dentistry

Edited by Richard J. Simonsen, DDS, MS

ISSN 2162-2833 (print) • ISSN 2162-2841 (online)

The American Journal of Esthetic Dentistry
Fall 2013
Volume 3 , Issue 3

Share Abstract:

A Dental “Who Done It?”

David W. Chambers, EdM, MBA, PhD

Pages: 188–193
DOI: 10.11607/ajed.0074

Based only on the dental literature, it would appear that materials and methods are the decisive factor in achieving quality dental treatment. The prominent position of randomized controlled trials further suggests that materials and methods can be evaluated based on which ones outperform the others under artificially controlled circumstances. The statistical confidence that the researchers’ hypothesis is accurate (ie, the P value) is taken as a proxy for impact in clinical practice. This paper suggests an alternative position in which all factors that affect clinical outcomes in practice are taken as the driving concern. Two paradigmatic cases were analyzed using a procedure called variance analysis—not to be confused with analysis of variance—to illustrate how variations among operators as well as interactions between operators and materials and methods are the most compelling sources of difference between good and poor treatment outcomes. A visual representation of this approach, the MOP plot (materials and methods, operator, and patient), is presented. Am J Esthet Dent 2013;3:188–193. doi: 10.11607/ajed.0074

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