Permanente Dental Associates home
Permanente Dental Associates home

Life in the Pacific Northwest


See what the Pacific Northwest has to offer!
Our Clinical Agenda

We Apply Evidence-Based Dentistry to Everyday Practice.

PDA dentists, by active engagement with the Clinical Effectiveness Committee (CEC), stay abreast of the latest developments in dental research and apply any advances in dentistry to their daily practice. The CEC is a group of clinicians, made up of one dentist from each dental office, that meets monthly to review the peer review literature and then apply the learnings to our clinical practice.

In our evidence-based dental practice, dentists and specialists provide treatment based on scientific research that demonstrates that the treatment prescribed will provide the best outcome for the patient. The goal is to shift dental services away from treating the effects of disease and toward prevention, monitoring and reversal of disease.

We currently measure the preventative services that are provided to select populations of patients in our offices and at an individual provider level. We use these measures in our incentive compensation system to encourage dentists to adopt evidence-based principles into their daily dental practices. The measures include:

  • Sealant placement
  • Preventative fluoride prescriptions for high-risk patients
  • Periodontal therapy based on classification and risk assessment
  • Adherence to the tobacco cessation ask-and-advise program
  • Re-mineralization for treatment of incipient caries

Risk Assessment and Classification
PDA's risk assessment and classification tools help dentists individualize care based on the level of disease the patient presents and risk factors for developing future disease.

Treatment guidelines
PDA's treatment guidelines allow the dentist to use his or her professional judgment & patient's preferences. The guidelines are based on scientific research.

Clinical Research
Internationally recognized Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research is located in Portland, and uniquely positions our group to realize the potential for integrating medicine and dentistry. Many PDA dentists participate actively in research being conducted by the center

  • More than 60 PDA dentists are serving as "practitioner/investigators" in a Practice-Based Research Network that is funded by NIDCR. The research findings are being gathered and analyzed by the University of Alabama and the University of Florida.
  • PDA also may be participating in an NIDCR funded study related to a 10% chlorhexidine varnish to evaluate the efficacy in reducing adult caries. If the study demonstrates efficacy, it could receive FDA approval and be the first drug to treat bacterial infection associated with dental caries.
  • PDA dentists actively participate in a Tobacco Cessation Study funded by the National Institute of Health.


© 2006 Kaiser Permanente Northwest Division | All Rights Reserved