If you are looking for information about how to get the most attractive smile or how to handle urgent medical conditions like TMJ and related migraines, you might tune in to a daytime medical talk show like The Dr. Oz Show or The Doctors. Or maybe you just tune in for entertainment, but sometimes follow advice you hear there.
In either case, you should really be skeptical of the information you’re given, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal, which showed that nearly half the information presented on these shows is either unsupported or contradicted by scientific evidence.
A Prospective Experience
Although there are many people who religiously watch shows like Dr. Oz and The Doctors, there are few regulations to hold the producers of the shows accountable. To determine just how potentially harmful these shows are, researchers in Britain looked at a randomly selected 40 episodes from each show and compiled 160 recommendations from these episodes.
They then tried to find substantiating evidence for these recommendations. Recommendations were considered substantiated if they were supported by at least a case study, which looks at a particular condition and treatment used in just a few people (or even one person). A case study is considered one of the weakest forms of medical evidence, but it is still some evidence.
Overall, only 54% of the recommendations had supporting evidence. For The Dr. Oz Show, the record was somewhat worse, with just 46% of recommendations supported, 15% contradicted, and no evidence found for 39%. For The Doctors, recommendations were a little better supported, with 63% of recommendations having support, 14% contradicted, and no evidence for 24%. When they looked at credible evidence, they found that the record was even weaker, with just 33% of recommendations on The Dr. Oz Show and 53% on The Doctors having credible support.
In addition, the shows rarely described the magnitude of benefit for recommendations, with just 17% of recommendations on Dr. Oz and 11% on The Doctors being linked to benefit.
And, although many people have potential to profit from recommendations being made, conflict of interest announcements accompanied just 0.4% of recommendations.
Talk to a Real Dentist
This study shows that when it comes to figuring out what’s best for your teeth, it’s important to get your information from someone you can trust. If you have concerns about your smile, TMJ, or headaches, we can answer your questions.