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Key databases for Dentistry

If you want to do a thorough search of the literature on a topic, it is best to use a database.  Bibliographic databases enable you to search across journal articles and other academic and scientific publications worldwide. They provide a more comprehensive search than Library Search, as they go beyond Library collections. These databases enable you to search for the primary literature i.e. the original research studies.

For Dentistry, the Web of Science Core Collection is recommended initially for undergraduate coursework, as it is relatively easy to use, covers all academic disciplines, and enables you to browse citation networks of the publications you find:


Medline (on Ovid) is the key database for searching the Dentistry journals, and uses Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to make searching more comprehensive [Note: contains almost identical data to PubMed, so you don't need to search both]:


If you are doing a full systematic review, Embase and Medline are the two databases recommended by Cochrane, as the minimum requirement for a systematic search of the medical literature.

Also useful for Dentists

For wider searches of the Dentistry literature you might find these resources useful:

The Library provides members of the University with free access to a wide range of databases and digital resources:

Database guides from Bristol medical librarians

Database guides have been produced by the Medical Librarians at Bristol to help you learn how to search the key databases. These are available via Blackboard (UoB login required):

Training from Subject Librarians

Your Subject Librarian will provide a programme of lectures and training on library and information skills as part of your course, in consultation with your department or school.

If you need additional help with Library databases please email us:

Database guides from the publishers

How to read a paper

Literature reviews

Follow the link above to watch a 15 minute video explaining how to write a literature review, for those new to the process. Literature reviews can be stand-alone research or part of a larger project. They communicate the state of academic knowledge on a given topic, specifically detailing what is still unknown.