The World Wide Web is a good thing. It has democratized information, opened resources that were unavailable or inconvenient to access; and given the disenfranchised voice where none was possible before.
It is also a problem. Restricting myself only to the information overload, how does one get good, useful, dependable accurate information?
Any search will instantaneously flood the browser with an overwhelming number of hits. To add insult to injury, the search engine ‘demons’ will also offer unsolicited ads along with the ubiquitous buy it on E-bay or Amazon – even when there is nothing to buy! [As an aside, if you wish to search the web anonymously, see: www.duckduckgo.com.]
This underscores that what was once unbiased information, is now tailored to your habits. Someone is keeping track! Your searches have been commoditized. Granted, like ads on TV, someone has to pay for the programming or we would be paying out –of-pocket for the access to the net.
Dependable Health information is then of particular concern. The legal axiom buyer beware (caveat emptor) is even more appropriate when it’s about your health. But, how does a lay person search and evaluate meaningful information? Where to start?
When you are looking for published scientific health information, the American National Institute of Health site Pubmed is ideal. It is meant for the professional, but this should not stop you from browsing it.
The Canadian government has Healthy Canadians as its general information page. This site has information about product recalls and a wealth of health related topics.
The site WebMd is also an excellent resource. They offer daily updates, videos, slide shows and quizzes on all aspects of health.
If you are looking for help with dental anxiety see our Dentistry870 web page for the links. http://www.dentistry870.ca/dental-anxiety
General dental information may be found at the Canadian Dental Association page, the American Dental Association home page and the Ontario Dental Association page. They may have overlapping information, but each delivers a wide variety of materials which have been vetted and thus offer accurate state of the art useful materials.
If you are looking for information about specialty procedures, then the respective dental specialty organizations all have web pages with excellent information.
The secret to acquiring good information is deciding on whether professional or lay level material is being sought. Once the browser search is initiated and a myriad of hits come up, look to the government sponsored pages to start.
If the information is to be more refined then the local provincial (or state) professional association will have relevant resources. Should you need even more specific knowledge then the appropriate specialty web page should be searched.
Each of these pages will have their materials vetted by knowledgeable professionals for accuracy and currency in evidence based science. This should offer valuable, believable, useful and current information that you can rely upon.