NIH News Release
National Institute of Dental
and Craniofacial Research

Monday, August 16, 1999

Contact: Dr. Isabel Garcia
(301) 594-7551

NIDCR and AHCPR Fund an Evidence-based Practice Center

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) today announced that they have launched a collaborative effort to improve the oral health of the Nation by identifying state-of-the-science practices for diagnosing, managing and preventing oral, dental and craniofacial diseases and disorders, and disseminating the information to health care professionals.

The two U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) components are co-funding work by the Research Triangle Institute and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (RTI-UNC) Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) to review the scientific literature on a range of conditions affecting the face and oral cavity, and identify state-of-the-science practices. The RTI-UNC center is part of a network of 12 EPCs in the United States and Canada established by AHCPR in 1997 to provide clinicians and patients with state-of-the-science information on common diseases and clinical conditions.

The RTI-UNC center will review existing scientific studies on diseases and disorders assigned by the NIDCR and produce evidence reports, which AHCPR and NIDCR will then make available through the Internet and in print form. The reports will identify effective ways to diagnose, manage, and prevent conditions such as head and neck cancer; dental caries; cleft lip/cleft palate; periodontal disease; and oral complications or manifestations of systemic disease, such as HIV disease and diabetes.

Harold C. Slavkin, D.D.S., director of the NIDCR, said the project "is an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate the diffusion of scientific knowledge that guides the management of dental, oral and craniofacial conditions" and "holds enormous potential to improve the oral health of all people."

NIDCR, part of the National Institutes of Health, is devoted to promoting the general health of the American people by improving their oral, dental and craniofacial health.

AHCPR Administrator John M. Eisenberg, M.D., said, "This new partnership will put research showing what works best where it's most useful - in the hands of oral health care practitioners and decisionmakers. We welcome this opportunity to work with NIDCR to help give Americans greater value for their health care dollars." AHCPR, which is an agency of HHS, serves as the department's focal point for research-related efforts to improve the quality, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and accessibility of health care.

Led by Arthur J. Bonito, Ph.D. at RTI and James Bader D.D.S., M.P.H. and Daniel Shugars, D.D.S., Ph.D. at UNC, the RTI-UNC center brings together a broad array of experts with extensive experience in dentistry, health services, methodology, social sciences, public health, nursing, pharmacy, and medicine. The center will work with science partners in the public and private sectors and organizations dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of oral health care.