This essential textbook presents the basics of dental statistics in an accessible way, combining explanation in non-technical language with key messages, practical examples, suggestions for further reading and exercises complete with detailed solutions. There is an emphasis on the principles and application of statistics without the use of algebra.
The statistical material is strongly rooted in practical examples drawn from a wide range of journal articles representing both dental health care delivery and clinical dentistry. The perspective is international, with papers drawn from a variety of settings around the world. Many articles are recent and report contemporary developments in dental care.
The intended audience includes dental students and practitioners, those engaged in dental research and other health care professionals. For students and tutors, it covers the undergraduate curriculum, and the exercises and solutions make it ideal for course use. For practitioners and researchers it provides the first principles of study design, accessing the dental literature, and the preparation and publication of original dental research.
Table of Contents
Preface to the second edition
Preface to the first edition
Planning a study
Types of study in dental research
Randomised controlled trials
The Normal distribution
Introduction to hypothesis tests
Comparing two means
Dealing with proportions and categorical data
Comparing several means
Regression, correlation and agreement
Non-Normally distributed data
The choice of sample size
Evidence based dentistry
Solutions to exercises
Nigel Smeeton is a Social Statistician at the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, University of Hertfordshire, and Visiting Lecturer in the Division of Imaging Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at King’s College London. For more than twenty years, he has taught statistics to undergraduate dental and medical students and is currently engaged in the postgraduate teaching of health service staff. His academic work has involved the application of statistical methods to research in stroke, asthma, psychiatry, and adolescent health and behaviour. He has a particular interest in non-parametric statistics, and is co-author of the text Applied Nonparametric Statistical Methods, published by CRC Press.
"The author, who has a long track record of communicating statistics to non-experts, has for over 20 years steeped himself in the world of dental health care. The fruits of his experience are demonstrated by the rich set of examples which he brings to every chapter of the book. The subject matter of each chapter are applicable to any field involving statistical reasoning, but the authoritative way in which he relates every piece of teaching to realistic questions for dental care practitioners is most convincing. Previous generations of the dental community who have attempted to learn statistics have often had to turn to medical statistics textbooks. However, Smeeton has managed to break this mould and demonstrate properly the application of statistics in dentistry. His treatment of statistical concepts is orthodox and sound, but this third edition of the book has evolved to meet changing needs of the intended audience, including a welcome chapter on evidence-based dentistry. I anticipate many undergraduate and postgraduate dental students will find this book to be their primary source for their use of statistics."
—Richard Morris, Professor in Medical Statistics, University of Bristol
"The first edition of Nigel Smeeton’s highly accessible guide to research design and statistics was a breakthrough in providing a simple and easy to read guide to conducting research studies in dentistry. And now this third edition, which comprises 18 chapters, spans the principles of research design, broad aspects of the ethics of research, principles of statistical analysis and the appraisal of research (including peer review of manuscripts). Each chapter provides an introduction to the topic it will address which outlines the importance of the topic and the areas that will be covered, this is followed by the main body of the chapter, and is concluded with a short test for the reader to appraise their own learning. The author draws extensively on published dental research to provide examples. The most remarkable aspect of this book is that there is so little mathematics in it. The focus of the learning is understanding how statistics work without delving into the formulae. The third edition brings a new chapter on evidence based dental practice which is becoming increasingly important for policy and practice. There are also some new sections on advanced techniques – which with the increased availability of statistical software are being used more widely.
There is little doubt that this is a very useful book for undergraduate dental students learning the skills of research design and critical appraisal of scientific research which will form part of the foundation for their future learning and continuing professional development. Throughout the text the key learning points are emphasised, and there are exercises to test the new learning. I would strongly recommend it for undergraduate courses. However I also believe it will be very useful for qualified practitioners who are keen to develop an awareness of statistical issues, in order to support an evidence-based approach to dental practice."
–J T Newton, King’s College London Dental Institute