Four "lessons learned" while implementing a multi-site caries prevention trial

James D. Bader, Debbie S. Robinson, Gregg H. Gilbert, Andre V. Ritter, Sonia K. Makhija, Kimberly A. Funkhouser, Bennett T. Amaechi, Daniel A. Shugars, Reesa Laws

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the number of dental-related randomized clinical trials (RCTs) increases, there is a need for literature to help investigators inexperienced in conducting RCTs design and implement studies. This commentary describes four "lessons learned" or considerations important in the planning and initial implementation of RCTs in dentistry that, to our knowledge, have not been discussed in the general dental literature describing trial techniques. These considerations are a) preparing or securing a thorough systematic review; b) developing a comprehensive set of study documents; c) designing and testing multiple recruitment strategies; and d) employing a run-in period prior to enrollment. Attention to these considerations in the planning phases of a dental RCT can help ensure that the trial is clinically relevant while also maximizing the likelihood that its implementation will be successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-175
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of public health dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • manual of procedures
  • patient recruitment
  • randomized controlled trial
  • run-in period
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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