The Delphi Process in Dental Research

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Objective:To explore how Delphi formal consensus procedures may augment decision making in oral health care in the absence of high-quality clinical and epidemiological data.Methods:A review and appraisal of the literature regarding the Delphi method was conducted using Medline databases and Google.Results:The Delphi method has a long history that highlights both its strengths and limitations. Delphi uses a series of anonymous questionnaires designed to develop a consensus of opinion and can provide guidance on topics that have not or cannot be studied in randomized controlled trials. The Delphi technique has been used to achieve consensus of opinion on a variety of issues including those related to oral health. Guidelines for the use of Delphi are presented.Conclusion:Like any other research methodology, the process guidelines need to be systematic and comprehensive. Delphi expert opinion consensus may improve decision making in a wide variety of oral health circumstances.

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