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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 109-117

A Scoping Review of Complexity Science in Dentistry

1 School of Dentistry, Faculty of Health, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia
2 School of Medicine, Universidad El Bosque, Colombia

Correspondence Address:
Luis Alejandro Gomez Barrera
Associate Professor at the School of Medicine, Universidad El Bosque
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/denthyp.denthyp_166_20

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Introduction: The purpose of this review is to establish how the theory of complexity is understood and instituted in dentistry. Methods: The stomatognathic system can be understood as a dynamic, complex, and adaptive system. Each pathological or physiological condition of this system involves physical, chemical, and biological processes in constant, open, and changing interactions with social, emotional, nutritional, political, and economic processes. Against this background, specifically, the following research questions were posed: How do researchers use complexity science in dentistry? How is complexity science described in dentistry articles?. Results: A brief literature search was implemented, which identified 11 PubMed articles as well as two from the Literatura Latinoamericana y del Caribe en Ciencias de la Salud (LILACS) database and one from the Cochrane Library for a full text review. Studies on complexity in the dental sciences are mostly presented in the form of critical opinion articles, which corresponded to 50% of the reviewed articles. In dentistry, complexity is understood as less of a theory and more as a line of thinking regarding procedures that can become complex at any given time. Conclusion: This article shows that there are great difficulties in integrating complexity and understanding it in dentistry. There are many aspects from complexity science that still need to be understood in oral health.

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