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Normative approaches for oral health: Standards, specifications and guidelines

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nicholas JakubovicsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Normative approaches have been developed with the aim of providing high-quality methods and strict criteria that, when applied correctly, lead to reliable results. Standards, specifications, and guidelines are needed to facilitate exchange of goods or information and secure comparability of data derived from different laboratories and sources. They are available along the whole flow from study development to test selection, study conduct, and reporting and are widely used for the evaluation of medical devices, market approval, and harmonization of terms and devices. Standards are developed by specific national and international organizations or by dedicated interest groups, mainly scientists in their respective fields. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards are developed following stringent regulations, and groups of experts formulate such standards. They should come from different areas (multistakeholder approach) to have as much and as broad input as possible and to avoid single-interest dominance. However, the presence of academia in such groups has been comparatively low. There is a clear need and responsibility of the oral health community to participate in the development of normative documents to provide methodological knowledge and experience, balance the interests of other stakeholders, and finally improve oral health. This will help to ensure that rapidly advancing fields of research, such as the oral health impacts of COVID-19 or the application of artificial intelligence in dentistry, benefit from standardization of approaches and reporting.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Schmalz G, Jakubovics N, Schwendicke F

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Dental Research

Year: 2022

Volume: 101

Issue: 5

Pages: 489-494

Print publication date: 01/05/2021

Online publication date: 25/10/2021

Acceptance date: 10/09/2021

ISSN (print): 0022-0345

ISSN (electronic): 1544-0591


DOI: 10.1177/00220345211049695

PubMed id: 34689656