As more of us get used to going online to find new information, it becomes almost routine to look for “ Cochrane.org ” as one of our best sources of available evidence in both medicine and dentistry. Archie Cochrane (1909-1988) was an amazing man, and I encourage you to read of his impact on the development of epidemiology as described in an editorial by Vincent G. Kokich (Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2013;144:1). Cochrane’s influence on the importance of credible research methods lived on after his death and led to the opening of the first Cochrane Center at Oxford in 1992 and the founding of the Cochrane Collaboration a year later.
It’s one thing for you as an orthodontist to know where to find the latest Cochrane systematic reviews, but I have yet to hear any patients of mine mention anything about finding that site to answer their questions. Oh yes, they are quick to mention Wikipedia and Google, but how well screened are those levels of evidence when it concerns the details of today’s orthodontic care? Fortunately, our publisher, Elsevier, is very aware of the need to make it easier for our patients as well as our own members to find the best information regarding the progress being made by our specialty. To help make this happen, Elsevier is working with us to establish an AJO-DO Resource Center. The first topic to be addressed will be cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging. Once established, other topics of interest could be added, as they have in other health care organizations.
Why start with CBCT? It is a revolutionary imaging technique that has added significant value to dentistry. Patients with specific orthodontic needs—eg, impacted teeth or narrowed pharyngeal airway—benefit from 3-dimensional imaging. Unlike traditional 2-dimensional imaging modalities, such as panoramic and cephalometric radiography, CBCT allows dental structures to be visualized in 3 dimensions. It has expanded our understanding of several important orthodontic applications. In fact, numerous research projects conducted by using CBCT have either confirmed or disproved previous findings that were obtained with basic radiographic techniques.
As planned now, our first resource center will be managed by the Council of Scientific Affairs (COSA) and edited by Ahmad Abdelkarim, DDS, MS, PhD; he is currently the chair of the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Mississippi and is dual-trained in orthodontics and oral and maxillofacial radiology, making him well-qualified for the topic of CBCT. In that position, he will also serve as an Associate Editor on the AJO-DO editorial board. Initially, the CBCT Resource Center will be available only to AAO members and Journal subscribers. Eventually, it could be made public and accessible to all orthodontists, patients, and parents.
The missions of our new CBCT Resource Center will be the following.
To provide current information to members of the AAO about CBCT imaging techniques.
To provide expert opinions about CBCT imaging from authorities in dentistry.
To present the technique in easily understandable terms, so that patients and practitioners alike will make informed decisions concerning its use.
The goal is to make this site a 1-stop center for those who seek knowledge about CBCT applications in orthodontics. Over time, it could include educational videos, round-table discussions, position papers on the topic, and a list of the best peer-reviewed articles on the topic. Because the Center is expected to be primarily educational, supporting its mission will be generally beneficial to our association and could develop into a 1-stop open-access resource for imaging.
Let the authors of this editorial know what you think about the potential for this resource center on CBCT imaging as it continues to take shape.