DentalCare Logo

Using Research for Clinical Decision-Making: Elements of a Research Report

Course Number: 45A

The Abstract

The Abstract, presented at the beginning of an article, should be a short summary (100 to 250 words) of the problem statement, methods used, results, and conclusions.3 Some journal editors request that the abstract be "the paper in miniature," completely self-contained. A recent trend is the “structured abstract” that has a heading and section for each of the above listed areas.

Below is an example of the Abstract section:

The Clinical Effect of Dentifrices Containing Stabilized Stannous Fluoride on Plaque Formation and Gingivitis - A Six-Month Study with Ad libitum Brushing4


The effects of stabilized 0.454% stannous fluoride dentifrices on supragingival plaque, gingival inflammation, and gingival bleeding were studied in 549 adult male and female subjects who completed a six-month, double blind clinical study. Following an oral prophylaxis, subjects were randomly assigned to brush with one of the following dentifrices: (1) 0.454% SnF2 stabilized with 2.08% sodium gluconate, (2) 0.454% SnF2 stabilized with 4.16% sodium gluconate, (3) an experimental dentifrice, or (4) 0.243% NaF control dentifrice. Follow-up examinations were conducted at 3 and 6 months. Compared to the control dentifrice at 6 months, stannous fluoride dentifrices stabilized with 2.08% or 4.16% sodium gluconate significantly reduced gingivitis by 18.8% and 18.0%, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between the two stabilized SnF2 groups with respect to their beneficial effects on gingival health. Gingival bleeding was also reduced, relative to the control dentifrice, for both stabilized SnF2 dentifrices. However, these differences were not statistically significant at p = 0.05. The stabilized SnF2 dentifrices were not significantly different from the control dentifrice in their effects on supragingival plaque.

No significant differences in adverse oral soft tissue effects were observed between the test and control groups. As expected, accumulation of extrinsic tooth stain increased in the stabilized SnF2 groups. However, the difficulty in removing accumulated dental stain was similar between the control and stabilized SnF2 dentifrices. Since use of SnF2 dentifrices has been reported to produce tooth stain, gingivitis examinations were done with and without custom-made tooth covers to evaluate the potential for examiner bias. Comparable gingivitis and gingival bleeding benefits were observed when the evaluations were conducted with or without the tooth covers.

Results from this study support that 0.454% stabilized stannous fluoride dentifrices can provide an important adjunct to the prevention and control of gingivitis when used in combination with regular personal oral hygiene procedures and professional care.3