Recommended

MedlinePlus – Mouth and Teeth

MedlinePlus - Mouth and Teeth is worth visiting for its comprehensive coverage of mouth & tooth care and diseases that may affect them. The section includes a medical encyclopedia and links to many outside resources for those seeking information about mouth & tooth diseases and how to recognize, treat, and prevent. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for information provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019

Scoring

Ease of Use

The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list or mouth location. There are more topics available when browsing by anatomy than by topic. Each listed topic leads to a page with a brief summary of the disease and numerous links to additional information. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to the condition. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

The home page is very mundane, having only a list of topics & systems along with a simple illustration of the mouth

Quality

Users can use the many links to find comprehensive and authoritative information about dental & oral health. Inconsistent referencing make the reliability of each MedlinePlus page for a disease or condition variable. Topics found in the medical encyclopedia are well referenced, while this is inconsistent for disease summaries and information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or specialty organization sites.

Credibility

MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the Academy of General Dentistry, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and American Academy of Periodontology. Users will find that the medical encyclopedia topics have the highest reliability by listing reviewers and date of last review. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies, and individual authors/editors of each topic page are not identified & only occasionally on the linked sites.

Pros

  1. Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about and related to oral & dental health
  2. Multiple links to reliable, up-to-date, and adequately detailed information about diseases & processes that affect the mouth & teeth, with additional information about the jaw and temporomandibular joint
  3. Large subsections on "Child Dental Health" and "Dental Health" have detailed coverage of preventive oral care
  4. Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government and supplemented with materials generated by authoritative organizations

Cons

  1. A few topics seem out of place, such as tattoos, speech & communication disorders, and neck cancer
  2. User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website referenced here
  3. Users will have to spend significant time navigating and reading in order to get helpful information

Profile

Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Patient handouts, videos, images, relevant journal articles, specialist finder, links to research, health check tools, clinical trials, clinical trials

Languages: English, Spanish

Contact: custserv@nlm.nih.gov

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