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Revista de Odontologia da UNESP

Print version ISSN 0101-1774On-line version ISSN 1807-2577

Rev. odontol. UNESP vol.48  Araraquara  2019  Epub Nov 07, 2019 

Original Article

Overview of the Brazilian odontological studies presented at a scientific meeting - SBPqO

Panorama de pesquisas odontológicas brasileiras apresentadas em reunião científica - SBPqO

Liliane Cristina BARBOSAa

Tânia Adas SALIBAa  *

Cléa Adas Saliba GARBINa

Suzely Adas Saliba MOIMAZa

aUNESP – Universidade Estadual Paulista, Faculdade de Odontologia de Araçatuba, Araçatuba, SP, Brasil



It is important to verify the trends of Brazilian scientific production in the odontology area and the connection of study themes with the Ministry of Health's Priority Research Agenda.


Analyze the dental research profile of higher-education institutions presented at a Brazilian scientific event.

Material and method

This is a documentary analysis of the papers presented at the 35th SBPqO annual meeting, which included 3008 Brazilian studies. Also, 92 abstracts from the POAC category published between 2016 and 2018 were analyzed, verifying the subarea of public health, study type, and statistical tests employed.


Of the 3008 works, 63.6% were from the Southeast region, 67% were conducted in public institutions, and 38.5% were supported by funding agencies (FAPESP, CAPES and CNPq). The titles analyzed using IRAMUTEQ presented predominance of themes related to dental caries epidemiology, quality of life, and chronic non-communicable diseases in children, pregnant women, women, elderly, and indigenous people. In the POAC category, the studies addressed health promotion (46%), oral health epidemiology (27%), health education (17%), and oral health care (10%). Statistical analysis was described in only 36% of the abstracts, of which 48% were from cross-sectional studies and 78% from surveys that employed association tests.


Brazilian scientific production in this filed came predominantly from the Southeast region and public institutions. There was connection between the themes and the Priority Research Agenda, and cross-sectional studies addressing health promotion predominated in POAC.

Descriptors:  Indicators of scientific production; odontology research; academic institutions



É importante verificar os rumos da produção científica brasileira na área de odontologia e a conexão dos temas com a Agenda Prioritária em Pesquisa do Ministério da Saúde.


Analisar o perfil da pesquisa odontológica das instituições de ensino superior apresentada em evento científico brasileiro.

Material e método

Trata-se de análise documental dos trabalhos apresentados na 35ª reunião anual da SBPqO, na qual foram incluídos 3008 relacionados à pesquisas realizadas no Brasil e na categoria POAC analisou-se os 92 resumos dos anos de 2016 a 2018, verificando-se a subárea da saúde coletiva; tipo de estudo e testes estatísticos empregados.


Dos 3008 trabalhos, 63,6% eram da região Sudeste; 67% de instituições públicas e apenas 38,5% foram financiados principalmente pelas agências de fomento FAPESP, CAPES e CNPq. Os títulos analisados no software IRAMUTEQ apresentaram predomínio dos temas relacionados à epidemiologia da cárie dentária; à qualidade de vida e às doenças crônicas não transmissíveis em crianças, gestantes, mulheres, idosos e indígenas. Na categoria POAC, 46% eram da promoção de saúde, 27% epidemiologia em saúde bucal, 17% educação em saúde e 10% atenção à saúde bucal. A análise estatística foi descrita em apenas 36% dos resumos, nestes, 48% tratava-se de estudos transversais e 78% empregaram testes de associação.


Houve predomínio da produção científica do país na região sudeste e nas instituições públicas. Observou-se conexão dos temas com os eixos da Agenda Prioritária em Pesquisa do Ministério da Saúde e na categoria POAC predominaram as pesquisa transversais de promoção de saúde.

Descritores:  Indicadores de produção científica; pesquisa em odontologia; instituições acadêmicas


Scientific and technological research in health is considered indispensable for the improvement of health promotion, protection and recovery actions for the population. In Brazil, the construction of a science, technology and innovation system for health and the definition of research priorities have contributed to the strengthening of the Unified Health System (SUS) through the incorporation of new knowledge and technologies1.

As a result of research activities carried out at universities and research centers and institutes, scientific production has been disseminated through communication channels such as journals, events and books in order to democratize the knowledge produced, bringing information to the community, solving their problems, and fostering integrated and sustainable development2.

Scientific information is an important instrument for improving knowledge, techniques, and the use of technologies in dental practice. The use of the Internet makes patients more questioning about clinical decisions, thus in addition to professional experience, good practitioners should acquire knowledge on a continuous basis.

In Brazil, health research presents specific demands according to the country's epidemiological profile, which is characterized by presence of persistent problems, including neglected and tropical diseases, emerging epidemics, and non-communicable chronic diseases. Therefore, setting health research priorities is a difficult task, especially because health investment needs are numerous and the resources to address them are limited. However, identifying these priorities is fundamental to maximize the use of investments by responsibly directing public resources to meet the needs of the population.

The Priority Research Agenda (Agenda Prioritária em Pesquisa do Ministério da Saúde - APPMS) of the Brazilian Ministry of Health (MS) is a consultative document that, in addition to supporting the strategic planning of the MS, represents an important tool for articulation with research funding agencies and foundations, aiming at establishing partnerships (public and private) to leverage the funding of health research and direct efforts towards strategic and relevant topics for the SUS.

In order to align current health priorities with scientific, technological and innovative research activities and to direct resources available for investment in strategic research themes for the SUS, this agenda (APPMS) presents 172 lines of research distributed in 14 thematic axes: Environment, work and health; Pharmaceutical care; Post-incorporation assessment; Development of technologies and innovations in health; Chronic non-communicable diseases; Communicable diseases; Health economics and management; Work and health management; Health programs and policies; Women's health; Health of the black population and traditional communities; Health of the elderly; Health of indigenous people; Maternal and child health.

The APPMS thus confirms the commitment of the MS to the development of health research to integrate science, technology and innovation in the services provided to the Brazilian population1.

There is no denying that the scientific advance observed in Brazilian odontology, as well as in new technologies and equipment, elevates Brazil to a prominent position worldwide and gives research developed in the country considerable international respect2.

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a US-based nonprofit organization whose goal is to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide. Building on the support provided to the scientific community, facilitating communication, and publishing papers in the Journal of Dental Research, the IADR supports and represents the oral health research community. According to IADR bylaws, Divisions must hold at least one annual meeting, as the Association is responsible for organizing the IADR Annual World Meeting3.

Thus, the Brazilian Society of Dental Research (SBPqO), the Brazilian Division of the IADR, organizes the SBPqO Annual Meeting, which is the most important event in the country in the area of Odontology, with approximately 4000 participants including undergraduate and graduate students, professors and researchers, with representatives from all Brazilian states. Among the several modes of presentation, the category of Collective Action Dental Research (POAC) includes research projects of collective application presented under the panel mode that can effectively benefit the community and present social relevance with reflection on the quality of life of the population4.

In order to verify the trends of national research, the profile of dental studies, published in the proceedings of the 35th annual meeting of the Brazilian Society of Dental Research (SBPqO), conducted in Brazilian higher education institutions was accessed. The abstracts of works published under the POAC category between 2016 and 2018 were also analyzed.


A documentary analysis was conducted on the studies published in the Brazilian Oral Research Supplement of the 35th annual meeting of the Brazilian Society of Dental Research (SBPqO). Also, abstracts from papers in the Collective Action Dental Research (POAC) category5-7 presented in the 33rd, 34th and 35th SBPqO meetings, corresponding to the 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions, were assessed.

Initially, all abstracts were read in full and a database was constructed with the following variables: region of the country (North, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast and South); institution category (public and private); funding agency; mode of presentation at the meeting.

For the thematic analysis of the abstracts in the POAC category, the collective health subareas were divided into health promotion, health education, oral health care, and oral health epidemiology. Verification of the type of study (research methodology) and statistical tests used was performed through a search for words in the body text. Data were organized in Microsoft Office Excel 2013 software spreadsheet, analyzed, and presented using descriptive statistics.

The titles of the 3008 national works presented at the 35th SBPqO annual meeting were analyzed using the IRAMUTEQ (Interface de R pour lês Analyses Multidimensionnelles de Textes et de Questionnaires) software with the statistical functions Similarity and Word Cloud Analyses, whose inclusion criteria were active words, regardless of frequency of occurrence, excluding pronouns, verbs and connectors.


In 2018, 3008 studies were carried out in Brazil, and their abstracts were published in the Brazilian Oral Research Supplement of the 35th SBPqO annual meeting. Table 1 shows the distribution of these abstracts.

Table 1 Numerical and percentage distribution of abstracts from Brazilian studies presented at the 35th Annual Meeting of the SBPqO (2018), (n = 3008) 

n %
Southeast 1912 63.6
South 509 16.9
Northeast 366 12.2
Midwest 126 4.2
North 95 3.1
Institution Category
Public 2028 67.4
Private 980 32.6
Funding agency
No funding 1849 61.5
With funding 1159 38.5
FAPESP 356 30.7
CAPES 333 28.7
CNPq 284 24.5
Other 186 16.1
Mode of Presentation
Teaching Research 38 1.3
POAC - Collective Action Dental Research 30 1.0
Unilever Travel Award (Hatton) 19 0.6
Colgate Odontologia Preventiva Award 14 0.5
Joseph Lister Award 02 0.1
Oral Presentation 223 7.4
Scientific Forum 28 0.9
Beginner Panel (Miyaki Issao Award) 806 26.8
Aspirant and Effective Panel 1795 59.7
Research Inside Industry 05 0.2
Dental Cremer Award 12 0.4
TCC - Undergraduate Thesis 36 1.2

n = number of national works presented at the 35th SBPqO annual meeting.

Although the Southeast region was responsible for most of the knowledge production in the country (63.6%), discrepancy between the states that compose it was still observed: São Paulo (72.5%), Minas Gerais (17.1%), Rio de Janeiro (10.1%), and Espírito Santo (0.3%). All the other regions accounted for 36.4% of the research presented, and the smallest participation was from the North region (3.1%).

The results of the papers presented in the POAC category from 2016 to 2018 indicated a reality in which the interest for the social was being consolidated as a study theme in the teaching and research institutions in this category; they were all from public institutions.

Of the 92 papers presented in this category in the last three years assessed, the subarea of health promotion accounted for 46%, followed by oral health epidemiology (27%), health education (17%), and oral health care (10%) (Table 2).

Table 2 Distribution of abstracts from Brazilian studies in the POAC category, conducted between 2016 and 2018, presented at the SBPqO 2018 annual meeting according to the Collective Health subareas 

Subarea 2016 to 2018
n (%)
n (%)
n (%)
n (%)
Health Promotion 42 (46%) 07 (25%) 18 (53%) 17 (57%)
Health Education 16 (17%) 10 (36%) 03 (09%) 03 (10%)
Oral Health Care 09 (10%) 04 (14%) 01 (03%) 04 (13%)
Oral Health Epidemiology 25 (27%) 07 (25%) 12 (35%) 06 (20%)
Total 92 28 34 30

n = number of abstracts from papers in the Collective Action Dental Research (POAC) category presented in the 33rd, 34th and 35th SBPqO meetings, corresponding to the 2016, 2017 and 2018.

As for the study samples, participation of the following specific groups was observed: children (30%), adolescents (8%), the elderly (4%) and pregnant women (4%); the other surveys were conducted with the general population. Regarding the type of study, few papers included a description in the abstracts: cross-sectional (16), longitudinal/cohort (9), systematic review (4), and randomized clinical trial (4).

Statistical analysis was described in only 35% of the abstracts. In 78% of the studies, association tests, including the Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests, were the most cited; 62% used multivariate and Poisson regression, and 6% employed the Pearson and Spearman correlation tests.

Results from the IRAMUTEQ Software

Textual analysis of the 3008 titles of the presented studies showed occurrence of 44,904 words: 6113 distinct words and 3209 words with a single occurrence.

Use of the word cloud statistical function (Figure 1) showed that the words that emerged most frequently were “buccal” (219 occurrences); “dental” (177); “health” (171); “child” (129); “quality” (117), and “life” (101); connection with the other elements of graphic representation was verified in the similarity analysis (Figure 2).

Figure 1 Word Cloud Analysis of the 3008 titles of papers published in the proceedings of the SBPqO 2018 annual meeting. 

Figure 2 Similarity analysis of the 3008 titles of papers published in the annals of the SBPqO 2018 annual meeting. 


The methodology employed in this survey allowed us to analyze the profile of the dental studies carried out in Brazilian educational and research institutions published in the annals of the 35th meeting of the Brazilian Society of Dental Research (SBPqO) and the production of papers in the Collective Action Dental Research (POAC) category between 2016 and 2018. Predominance of the Southeast region, particularly of the state of São Paulo, was observed.

The predominance of public institutions and funding agencies was also highlighted, with most of the studies supported by the São Paulo State Research Support Foundation (FAPESP), the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), and the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) - results that corroborate those reported in previous studies8,9.

The spatial discrepancy of scientific research activities in Brazil was evidenced by the high concentration of publications and researchers in the Southeast region, especially the state capitals. For instance, the city of São Paulo concentrated approximately 20% of the Brazilian scientific production, and has climbed 21 positions in the list of the most knowledge-generating cities in the world in the past decade, and it is currently ranked among the 20 municipalities with the highest scientific production in the world10.

Likewise, the marked spatial heterogeneity of scientific production in the Southeast region has also been reported in previous studies8,11,12. Over three quarters of the Brazilian studies published between 2007 and 2009 were from the Southeast and South regions, with the Midwest and North regions accounting for less than 10%.

Although there has been a process of internalization of research activities through incentives from funding agencies, announcements from CAPES and CNPq, with the qualified expansion of graduate studies in all Brazilian states, scientific production in this field is still concentrated in the Southeast region, and data from the CAPES Quadrennial Assessment Report (2013-2016) confirmed the need to accelerate decentralization of graduate education13.

The CNPq “Casadinho Program” aimed to promote the strengthening of research groups and consolidation of stricto sensu graduate studies programs by supporting inter- and/or intra-regional cooperation between groups linked to non-consolidated graduate studies programs (concepts 3 or 4 obtained in the last Capes/MEC assessment) of national public higher education and research institutions in the North, Northeast and Midwest regions, including the State of Espírito Santo, and groups linked to consolidated programs (concepts 6 or 7 obtained in the latest Capes assessment) from any region of the country. The CNPq “Casadinho Program” has the following main objectives: implementation and recovery of research infrastructure, increased formation and qualification of qualified human resources, improvement of graduate studies programs, and greater regional distribution of research excellence centers in the country14.

The growing trend of Brazilian scientific production is associated with investment from the State, both in the qualification of human capital and in the improvement of the infrastructure of universities and research institutes, due to the closer relationship between educational institutions and the SUS, together with greater interest in social issues12,15,16. The highlight of the state of São Paulo in the national scientific collaboration network is associated with the scientific infrastructure installed in the state and with the presence of internationally recognized universities and collaborative research networks involving researchers supported by Research Programs and Projects17.

One of the limitations of this study in data analysis was due to the absence of the keywords described in the abstracts. Keywords are important primary tools employed in indexing searches. Through them, it would be possible to perform a more accurate thematic analysis.

Another limitation was the absence of the area in which the papers were submitted for presentation at the scientific event. The description of the area would enable exploratory analysis of the distribution of the subareas of odontology, since collective health and social odontology are presented only as behavioral science and, although the papers presented in the POAC category, with oral or panel presentation, are on collective action, this theme was also distributed in the other categories of the event.

In addition, few studies provided a description of the statistical analyses used; however, after reading of the abstracts in full, it was possible to identify the type of study: qualitative research, literature review, experience report, and descriptive analysis, with only absolute and relative data mentioned.

Results of the analysis using the IRAMUTEQ software showed that the word “bucal”, cited in the titles of the abstracts, configured the central part of the themes from which branches with significant terms such as “health”, “quality”, “life” and “child” shown in the similarity tree, suggesting that, in general, oral health issues in children, pregnant women, women, the elderly, and indigenous people were associated with the impact of oral health on quality of life and chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, stress, and anxiety.

It is worth mentioning the participation of undergraduate students in 28% of the works published in the beginner panel (Miyaki Issao Award) and TCC (Undergraduate Thesis) categories in 2018, as well as the fact that, despite representing a small percentage of the papers presented at the SBPqO meetings, the academic collaboration in the POAC category brings subsidy to the process of formulating public policies, which points to the need for growth in the number of works developed and published in this category.


Regional discrepancy is still observed in scientific production in Brazil, with concentration in the Southeast region, particularly in the state of São Paulo, and predominance of public institutions. Analysis using the IRAMUTEQ software showed that most of the themes of the presented papers are related to dental caries epidemiology, quality of life, and chronic non-communicable diseases in the following main groups: children, pregnant women, women, the elderly, and indigenous people. The themes showed connection with the axis of the Ministry of Health's Priority Research Agenda. In the POAC category, there was predominance of cross-sectional research in the health promotion subarea.

How to cite: Barbosa LC, Saliba TA, Garbin CAS, Moimaz SAS. Overview of the Brazilian odontological studies presented at a scientific meeting - SBPqO. Rev Odontol UNESP. 2019;48:e20190082.


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Received: August 12, 2019; Accepted: August 28, 2019

CONFLICTS OF INTERESTS The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

*CORRESPONDING AUTHOR Tânia Adas Saliba, UNESP – Universidade Estadual Paulista, Faculdade de Odontologia de Araçatuba, Rua José Bonifácio, 1193, 16015-050 Araçatuba - SP, Brasil, e-mail:

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