Effective Dental Practice Programme

Under the leadership of the Director, Professor Jan Clarkson, the Effective Dental Practice (EDP) programme continues to influence and respond to major strategic developments in primary dental care services and postgraduate education. This programme includes high quality randomised controlled trials (RCT) in primary care, the production of Cochrane reviews and a framework of translation research embedded within the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme. Research outcomes have informed changes to Scotland’s dental remuneration policy, contributed to international guideline development, provided evidence of the effect of change to national postgraduate education policy and informed methodological debates in RCT design.

The EDP programme works in close and productive collaboration with NHS Education for Scotland (NES), the Chief Scientist Office (CSO)’s Health Services Research Unit, Health Economics Research Unit and Centre for Healthcare Randomised Trials at the University of Aberdeen. In addition to collaborating with researchers across Schools within the College and Dental Schools in the UK, Professor Clarkson works in reciprocal partnership with international researchers throughout the UK and internationally. These multidisciplinary collaborations includes statisticians’, implementation scientists, trial methodologists, health psychologists, economists and organisation scientists.

Professor Clarkson is Director of the NES funded Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) and the Scottish Dental Practice Based Research Network (SDPBRN).  SDCEP is an initiative of the National Dental Advisory Committee (NDAC) in partnership with NES. SDCEP is funded by the Scottish Government Health Directorates and contributes to NES's role in implementing the Scottish Government's Dental Action Plan. Members of the SDCEP team also have a key role in the Translation Research in a Dental Setting (TRiaDS) Programme. TRiaDS is an international multidisciplinary collaboration of researchers conducting implementation research embedded within the SDCEP guidance development process. TRiaDS aims to create a generalisable evaluative knowledge translation framework that is readily transferable across national and international jurisdictions and professional disciplines.  The core activities of SDPBRN network are to promote the conduct of high quality research, to disseminate research evidence and to conduct an impact analysis of postgraduate education in primary and secondary dental care. The EDP programme via the network continues to consolidate collaborative links with the Scottish Primary Care Research Network and, through its collaboration with the National Institute of Health funded United States Dental Practice Based Research Network, is also furthering its ability to promote and inform primary care research beyond Scotland.

Together with Professor Helen Worthington, University of Manchester, Professor Clarkson is Joint Co-ordinating Editor of Cochrane Oral Health Group, whose aim is to produce systematic reviews which primarily include all randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of oral health.

The Effective Dental Practice programme focuses on the research questions to improve health and wellbeing by:

  • Synthesising evidence and conducting primary research to address gaps relevant to the delivery of efficient, high quality, effective and person centred health care.
  • Understanding and evaluating the translation of knowledge into practice.

Trials and Studies