Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry                           
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 102--105

Recent research trends in dentistry

Shobha Tandon1, Annapurny Venkiteswaran1, Sudhindra M Baliga2, Ullal Anand Nayak3,  
1 Centre of Studies in Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Sungai Buloh Campus, University Technology MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia
2 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, NIMS Dental College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Shobha Tandon
Centre of Studies in Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Sungai Buloh Campus, University Technology MARA, Shah Alam


Research being an investigative process is employed to increase or revise the current knowledge. Scientific research involves the conduct of a methodical study to prove a hypothesis or give an answer to a specific question with the main aim of finding definitive answer. This paper aims to advance knowledge of research and develop interest in the postgraduate students. It also throws light on the existing and emerging research strengths within a “high-performance culture.” The trends in dental research worldwide are looked at, in particular, a comparison between the publication status in two countries, namely India and Australia. The current themes in dental research are also discussed to facilitate future projects for the aspiring pediatric dentists. Stress is given to the importance of evidence-based dentistry as the current times call for high-quality and ethical papers which are devoid of plagiarism. The common reasons for failure of a research are explored and the strengthening factors are highlighted. Proper planning of a pertinent research project is beneficial to the researcher as well as the dental community.

How to cite this article:
Tandon S, Venkiteswaran A, Baliga SM, Nayak UA. Recent research trends in dentistry.J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2017;35:102-105

How to cite this URL:
Tandon S, Venkiteswaran A, Baliga SM, Nayak UA. Recent research trends in dentistry. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Oct 24 ];35:102-105
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Full Text


Dental research is a strong pillar of education system in dentistry which has shown significant improvement over the years. However, the success so far is being limited especially in answering questions relevant to clinical subjects such as diagnosis, risk assessment, and outcome of dental care. For some of these areas, evidence may be available but is not translated into practice, or for others, evidence is lacking or is of poor quality. Since long, Asian countries have been facing significant challenges in sustaining research to meet the needs of the community, whereas western countries have shown a dramatic advancement in research.

Research necessitates performing a methodical study to prove a hypothesis or answer specific question with the aim of finding a definitive answer. To establish a baseline dataset and compare the last 30 years of peer-reviewed published dental literature in the western world (Australia) and Asia (India), a study was undertaken which is quoted here to familiarize the students with the scenario of research of the last 30 years.[1] These data can provide a strong basis for predicting the future development of dental research. These two countries were selected because it is reported that Indian dental schools have close to 26,000 new graduates every year, and the Australian dental workforce reported for the year 2015 is around 21,993.[2] Both the countries have developing new dental schools that are striving for quality education with focus on research.


This paper aims to advance knowledge of research and develop interest in the postgraduate students. It also is intended to familiarize with the existing and emerging research strengths within a “high-performance culture.”


The authors have reviewed the various studies conducted on the current research trends and changing scenario. For example, a study utilized the database of PubMed. A total number of 3579 references were found specific to Australia and 1944 of Indian origin over the period of 30 years (1980–2009). All publications that included any word from a core set of dental words (dentistry). Data related to peer-reviewed publications from India and Australia were segregated and cleaned using the same method.

There was a substantial increase in the publications number of both countries per decade, but comparison showed interesting findings, indicating that Australia produced ten times more publications (314) as compared India (31).[1] A year-wise breakdown has shown an exponential growth in number of publications. A state-wise comparison in both the countries revealed that Australia had shown a stable output of research publications whereas India had uneven distribution. It can be concluded that India has exponential growth with strong potential to eclipsed Australia who plateaued in recent time.

Technological paradigms are responsible for revolutionary changes in the current status of research. At present, translational research in dentistry, evidence-generating research, holistic research, i.e., collaborating with various disciplines, organizations, academic institution, developing novel technologies in early detection of the disease, contemporary traditional medicines in oral care, and application of “R” data analysis are being focused more.[3] Researchers try to translate underpinning knowledge into clinical therapy.[4] For example, Biomedical Tissue Research like characterization of mesenchymal stem cells for osteogenesis is being tried for which teeth are the most cost-effective and noninvasive source.

Developing indigenous materials for treatment of white spot carious lesions such as self-assembling peptides are being under trial in the University of Leeds.[5]Triphala, Asian fruit, is also under trial as mouth wash for reversal of white mucosal lesions and to combat biofilm infections.[6]

Translating research is from in vitro to in situ model, for example, the use of safe and optimum level of fluoride in various concentrations.[7] For example, in western countries, milk fluoridation is used for school children, but in Asian countries where resources are limited, it does not seem to be feasible method; hence, salt and sugar fluoridation may be considered.[8] Since the population-based study will not be ethical and also difficult and costly, after conducting in vitro studies, the selected volunteers may be considered for taking enamel slabs from their extracted teeth and may be translated to in situ model using a randomized controlled study.

Developing new therapies through gene discovery such as developmental anomalies of both hard (understanding of biomineralization) and soft tissues is the other area of interest. A new finding indicates that local anesthesia may affect the development of teeth.[9]

Recently, a lot has been stressed on evidence-generating research because of its ethical values. Evidence-based research in dentistry incorporates the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of evidence, which is currently the best in making decisions about the care of individual patients.[10],[11] It provides solution to many unanswered questions. It also develops the concept of establishing best management of diseases in the primary/permanent dentition to produce robust results, for example, ICDAS, an evidence-based framework and scoring system for management of caries in a unified way.

It is the need of the hour as there is knowledge overload which is not actually generating best evidence, for example, unanswered questions relevant to risk assessments, diagnosis, and outcome of oral care.

Evidence-generating research redefines the research–practice relationship to complete the evidence cycle. One may ask why does research fail us? There are following reasons that may be considered:

Lack of a prior questionLack of a proper controlLack of randomization.


When both investigators and/or subjects are not blindedSelection bias attributed to selecting studies which support the topicThe fact that studies with positive results have higher probability of getting publishedEncouraging researchers to display findings as more significant than actualDistorting the findings published in the literature.

Conflict of interest:[13]

Measurement bias: Observer, responder, and instrument biasLack of statistical “power”Smaller sample size.

Emerging trends in research has also opened up new avenues for simple and effective data analysis. The momentum has been witnessed in the last decade from both academia and industry to use R programming language. R revolution analytics is an important tool for computational statistics, visualization, and data science. It is able to create reproducible and high-quality analysis. It is user-friendly, easy to apply software which can represent data results with various graphs and charts selection of wrong data analysis could also be one the reasons for the last moment failure of research outcome.

Another important cause of failure in research is plagiarism; a growing menace means the passing off of another's work as one's own.[14] It also refers to the practice of duplicating one's own previous work without reference to prior publication. Researchers must have a thorough understanding of the publication ethics and copyright laws.

Researchers must have a thorough understanding of the publication ethics and copyright law. Students may face important challenges when they are writing thesis, term papers, or manuscript. Therefore one must know the clear demarcation between plagiarism and infringement.


Reuse of ideas, concepts, structure, dataTaking credit for others' workAuthor of original work may seek retraction or erratum.

Copyright infringement

No infringement unless exact words, figures, or images replicatedMay be exceptions – fair dealing/use, criticism, and reviewLegal right of copyright owner to claim for financial damages.

Plagiarism can be detected by following means:

Reviewers and/or readers familiar with the field and the author's workSudden changes of style within the manuscriptRoutine screening with internet search enginesPlagiarism detection software.

Students must remember a few simple tips:

References must be attributedAll the sources of information should be describedAcknowledgments should be listedFootnotes should be providedQuotation marks should be used wherever requiredThe original, attributed work should be paraphrasedThe permission from the publisher of the original work should be obtained for extensive quotationsThe self-plagiarism should be avoided by obtaining permission from publisher of the previous article authored by you and also for the use of published other illustrations or drawings.


The ultimate goal of the research is to establish the technology nationally or globally, benefitting patients and generating revenue for the country. To conclude, one may agree with the statement of Albert Einstein that, “Imagination is the highest form of research.” One needs to be national Dental Think Tank providing innovative dental solutions to the dental and nondental population of your country. Therefore, if your research opens, a new path feels free to explore it.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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