The Task Force mission in achieving our vision is twofold:

  • Maximize validity and efficiency on oral health clinical research by fostering and promoting the use of sound and innovative methodologies in research design and analysis.
  • Encourage and promote a continuous dialog, bridging quantitative and clinical issues among stakeholders in oral health research.

The Task Force publishes on methods relevant to design and/or analysis issues in clinical research, and provides advice to the American Dental Association (ADA) and other professional organizations concerning guidelines and protocols for testing dental products and devices. The FDA often references publications of the Task Force during the drug review process.

The Task Force was initially formed by a small group of biostatisticians who participated in a 1968 Dental Caries Conference co-sponsored by the US Public Health Service (USPHS) and the ADA. The goal of this conference was to establish a standardized methodology for conducting clinical trials testing efficacy of products designed to prevent dental caries. In the early 1970s, the Task Force was formed and 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, almost single handedly guided the Task Force. His vision and dedication had a seminal influence on the development of the Task Force into its present role as an impartial leader in the design and analysis of oral health clinical research.

Over the past 30 years, the Task Force has organized several major national and international conferences on clinical trials in dental caries and periodontal diseases. These conferences have provided new methods for dental clinical trials and improved and encouraged communication between investigators from diverse disciplines in an exchange essential to high-quality oral health science.

Recently, questions regarding the evaluation of the various prognostic, diagnostic, and therapeutic approaches for oral diseases have generated an interest in evidence-based methodology. Summarizing evidence and assessing the quality of evidence is often difficult because of the wide diversity of quality and methods used in the different areas of oral health research. Methods and guidelines continue to be developed addressing general issues in summarizing evidence. Consistent with its goal of fostering dialogue, the Task Force was pleased to sponsor a symposium on Evidence-Based Dentistry.  The Task Force was also pleased to support the Indiana Conference on Clinical Caries Models.

More information on the Task Force on Design and Analysis in Oral Health can be found by clicking on our history link.

* Kingman A, Imrey PB, Pihlstrom BL, Zimmerman SO. Chilton, Fertig, Fleiss, and the Task Force on Design and Analysis in Dental and Oral Research. J Dent Res. 1997 Jun;76(6):1239-43.

Task Force on Design & Analysis