A bibliometric analysis of the pediatric dental literature in MEDLINE

Stephen Yang, Howard Needleman, Richard Niederman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to estimate the availability of dental literature between 1989 and 1998 in seven disciplines within pediatric dentistry by using a bibliometric analysis on MEDLINE and to compare the results to that for adolescents and adults. Methods: A search strategy was developed for each discipline incorporating dental vocabulary obtained from the MEDLINE Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) index. The number of articles retrieved from MEDLINE for adolescents and adults (> 13 yo) was compared to those for children (< 12 yo) in seven dental disciplines: dental implants, endodontics, oral medicine/radiology, oral surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, and restorative dentistry. Results: There was an average of 8,097 dental articles published each year for the combined seven disciplines studied with an eight-fold range from 327 articles/year for endodontics to 2,765 articles/year for oral medicine/radiology. Of the mean number of articles published each year, 1,273 (16%) were limited to children, while the remaining 6,824 (84%) were on adolescents and adults. The number and percentage of children articles relative to the total number of publications on children ranged from 7 articles/year (1%) for dental implants to 528 articles/year (42%) for oral medicine/radiology. Implant dentistry publications increased the fastest, growing at an average yearly rate of 25%, followed by restorative dentistry (9%), endodontics (9%), oral surgery (6%), orthodontics (6%), periodontics (3%), and oral medicine/radiology (2%). Conclusions: There is a substantial amount of literature in pediatric dentistry upon which to base clinical decisions. Within this large body of literature, there is a significant amount of variation between the various dental disciplines examined. To stay current, one would need to read and absorb approximately 24 articles each week over 52 weeks per year in more than 75 different journals. Furthermore, the volume of literature is increasing each year, making access even more difficult. These trends suggest the need for computer systems that will facilitate access and retrieval of clinically useful literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-418
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric dentistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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