Treatment planning in dentistry using an electronic health record: implications for undergraduate education

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This is a critical review of a published article in PubMed.


Treatment planning is performed by a clinician in dental practice, in a sequence of steps so as to improve the dental health of a patient and prevent future oral health problems. There is not enough evidence in research that has studied this important step in providing dental services within the electronic health record (EHR) framework.[1]

The authors of this article explored the performance of treatment planning steps taken after the adoption of EHRs in an educational setting.


The authors included participants from two dental schools in the U.S and studied the treatment planning steps they followed in an EHR for two everyday clinical scenarios. They were scored by expert dental faculty on the correctness of their diagnosis entry, diagnosis-treatment pairing, and sequence of treatment. The scores were converted and reported as mean with standard deviation and according to the level of significance.


The mean score of participants from the second school were found to be higher than those who performed in the first school. The performance in following the sequence of treatment planning, which was the objective of this study, was scored least favorably. The participants were not favorably trained at choosing correct diagnosis but they were scored the best in the selection of appropriate treatment.


The need to improve the steps taken in treatment planning is fundamental to the diagnosis and treatment given. The education provided to the professionals needed to include newer and improved technology to train them so they could provide treatment appropriately.

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My comments

The use of newer and efficient technology needs to be integrated in professional schools so these providers could be better trained to serve the public. A limitation of this study is the use of technology in only two dental schools.


  1. Treatment planning in dentistry using an electronic health record: implications for undergraduate education.