Tinanoff Takes Award for Evidence-Based Pediatric Dentistry

Dentistry Today


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has named Norman Tinanoff, DDS, the recipient of its 2018 Evidence-Based Dentistry Service Award. The honor recognizes a pediatric dentist who has contributed to pediatric dentistry through evidence-based clinical practice, academics, or policy development. 

“Pediatric dentistry is about prevention,” said Tinanoff, a professor in the Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and member of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. “We want to prevent cavities, not fix them, and prevention is based on science and evidence-based studies.”

Tinanoff was recognized for his work with the AAPD’s Council on Clinical Affairs, which develops best practice guidelines and publishes the Oral Health Policies and Best Practices reference manual. In fact, he was lead author of one of the three guidelines in its first edition in 1979.

“Now it’s a five-pound book,” said Tinanoff.

Since then, Tinanoff has been the first author of 11 of its 80 standing policies and guidelines spanning topics from caries management to use of silver diamine fluoride. He also has been part of the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry since its founding in 1980, serving as its associate editor since 2015.

Tinanoff credits the AAPD for supporting evidence-based dentistry and the school’s Division of Pediatric Dentistry for fostering a culture conducive to work that advances the field of evidence-based dental practice.

“Our division has a reputation for teaching evidence-based dentistry, and we feel that it’s the most important lesson that our students can learn. All of the faculty in our division work hard to be scholars,” he said.

“When we teach on the clinical floor, a conversation may happen where a resident wants to perform a certain treatment, and the faculty member will answer, ‘Tell me why. What is the evidence for it?’ And the resident and faculty together may develop a research question to examine the evidence. It’s a Socratic approach to teaching,” Tinanoff said. 

“Dr. Tinanoff has worked for decades advocating for the development of evidence-based pediatric dentistry,” said Vineet Dhar, BDS, MDS, PhD, associate professor and interim chair of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry at the school. “He’s a pioneer in the field and a major influence in how I approach research.”

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