, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 127-136

Methodological quality of systematic reviews analyzing the use of laser therapy in restorative dentistry

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The purpose of this study was to identify systematic reviews (SRs) that compared laser with other dental restorative procedures and to evaluate their methodological quality. A search strategy was developed and implemented for MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, LILACS, and the Brazilian Dentistry Bibliography (1966–2007). Inclusion criteria were: the article had to be an SR (± meta-analysis); primary focus was the use of laser in restorative dentistry; published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German. Two investigators independently selected and evaluated the SRs. The overview quality assessment questionnaire (OQAQ) was used to evaluate methodological quality, and the results were averaged. There were 145 references identified, of which seven were SRs that met the inclusion criteria (kappa = 0.81). Of the SRs, 71.4% appraised lasers in dental caries diagnosis. The mean overall OQAQ score was 4.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.4–6.5]. Of the SRs, 57.1% had major flaws, scoring ≤4. SR methodological quality is low; therefore, clinicians should critically appraise them prior to considering their recommendations to guide patient care.