DATA SOURCE: Medline, Embase, CINAHL PLUS with Full text, Cochrane Library Trials, Web of Science, and Scopus.
REVIEW METHODS: A data search (last update, July 1, 2022) and a manual search were performed (October 5, 2022). Trials involving adults with orofacial pain receiving electrotherapy compared with any other type of treatment were included. The main outcome was pain intensity; secondary outcomes were mouth opening and tenderness. The reporting was based on the new PRISMA Guidelines.
RESULTS: From the electronics databases and manual search 43 studies were included. Although this study was open to including any type of orofacial pain, only studies that investigated temporomandibular disorders were found. The overall quality of the evidence for pain intensity was very low. Although the results should be carefully used, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation therapy showed to be clinically superior to placebo for reducing pain after treatment (2.63 [-0.48; 5.74]) and at follow-up (0.96 [-0.02; 1.95]) and reduce tenderness after treatment (1.99 [-0.33; 4.32]) and at follow-up (2.43 [-0.24; 5.10]) in subjects with mixed temporomandibular disorders.
CONCLUSION: The results of this systematic review support the use of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation therapy for patients with mixed temporomandibular disorders to improve pain intensity, and tenderness demonstrating that transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation is superior to placebo. There is inconsistent evidence supporting the superiority of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation against other therapies.
Method: Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science (all databases) were searched by 2 reviewers until 29th October 2020. Articles were screened and narratively synthesized according to PRISMA-DTA guidelines based on predefined eligibility criteria. Articles that made direct reference test comparisons to human clinicians were evaluated using the MI-CLAIM checklist. The risk of bias was assessed by JBI-DTA critical appraisal, and certainty of the evidence was evaluated using the GRADE approach. Information regarding the quantification method of dental pain and disease, the conditional characteristics of both training and test data cohort in the machine learning, diagnostic outcomes, and diagnostic test comparisons with clinicians, where applicable, were extracted.
Results: 34 eligible articles were found for data synthesis, of which 8 articles made direct reference comparisons to human clinicians. 7 papers scored over 13 (out of the evaluated 15 points) in the MI-CLAIM approach with all papers scoring 5+ (out of 7) in JBI-DTA appraisals. GRADE approach revealed serious risks of bias and inconsistencies with most studies containing more positive cases than their true prevalence in order to facilitate machine learning. Patient-perceived symptoms and clinical history were generally found to be less reliable than radiographs or histology for training accurate machine learning models. A low agreement level between clinicians training the models was suggested to have a negative impact on the prediction accuracy. Reference comparisons found nonspecialized clinicians with less than 3 years of experience to be disadvantaged against trained models.
Conclusion: Machine learning in dental and orofacial healthcare has shown respectable results in diagnosing diseases with symptomatic pain and with improved future iterations and can be used as a diagnostic aid in the clinics. The current review did not internally analyze the machine learning models and their respective algorithms, nor consider the confounding variables and factors responsible for shaping the orofacial disorders responsible for eliciting pain.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Faculty of Dentistry, Melaka-Manipal Medical College among 3(rd) and 4(th) year BDS students. A total of 145 dental students, who consented, participate in the study. Students were divided into 14 groups. Nine online sessions followed by nine face-to-face discussions were held. Each session addressed topics related to oral lesions and orofacial pain with pharmacological applications. After each week, students were asked to reflect on blended learning. On completion of 9 weeks, reflections were collected and analyzed.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Qualitative analysis was done using thematic analysis model suggested by Braun and Clarke.
RESULTS: The four main themes were identified, namely, merits of blended learning, skill in writing prescription for oral diseases, dosages of drugs, and identification of strengths and weakness. In general, the participants had a positive feedback regarding blended learning. Students felt more confident in drug selection and prescription writing. They could recollect the doses better after the online and face-to-face sessions. Most interestingly, the students reflected that they are able to identify their strength and weakness after the blended learning sessions.
CONCLUSIONS: Blended learning module was successfully implemented for reinforcing dental pharmacology. The results obtained in this study enable us to plan future comparative studies to know the effectiveness of blended learning in dental pharmacology.