The Task force on Design and analysis in oral Research is a "think tank" of clinical researchers, basic scientists, biostatisticians, epidemiologists and other quantitative scientists with experience in oral health research or clinical trials.1 It is a non-profit organization that includes individuals from universities, private research centers, government, and industry. The Task Force has made numerous contributions to dental research, especially in clinical trial methodology.
The Task Force was initially formed by a small group of biostatisticians and clinical researchers who participated in a 1968 Dental caries Conference co-sponsored by the US Public Health Service (USPHS) and the American Dental Association (ADA). The goal of this conference was to establish standardized methods for conducting clinical trials to test the efficacy of products designed to prevent dental caries. In the early 1970s, the Task Force began holding semiannual one-day scientific meetings on design and analysis issues in oral health clinical studies. For over thirty years Dr. Neal Chilton, trained in both dental research and biostatistics, guided the Task Force. His vision and dedication had a seminal influence on the development of the Task Force's development into its present role as an impartial leader in the design and analysis of oral health clinical research.
Over the past several decades, the Task Force has supported major national and international conferences on clinical research in dental caries and periodontal diseases.2-8 These conferences explored methods that were novel in dental clinical research. These conferences have provided a forum which has improved and encouraged communication among investigators from diverse disciplines in a dialogue essential to high-quality oral health science.
The Task Force has published on methods relevant to design and analysis in clinical research and provided advice to the ADA and other professional organizations concerning guidelines and protocols for testing dental products and devices.9-10 The FDA and industry have referenced publications of the Task Force during their drug review process.