CR was founded in 1976 by clinicians who believed practitioners could confirm efficacy and clinical usefulness of new products and avoid both the experimentation of patients and failures in the closet. With this purpose in mind, CR was organized as a unique volunteer purpose of testing all types of dental products and disseminating results to colleagues throughout the world.
Each year, CR tests in excess of 500 different product brands, performing about 10,000 field evaluations. CR tests all types of dental products, including materials, devices, and equipment plus techniques. Worldwide, products are purchased from distributors, secured from companies, and sent to CR by clinicians, inventors, and patients. There is no charge to companies for product evaluations. Testing combines the efforts of 450 clinicians in 19 countries who volunteer their time and expertise, and 40 on-site scientists, engineers, and support staff. Products are subjected to at least two levels of CR's unique three-tiered evaluation process that consists of:
1. Clinical Field Trials where new products are incorporated into routine use in a variety of dental practices and compared by clinicians to products and methods they use routinely.
2. Controlled Clinical Tests where new products are used and compared under rigorously controlled conditions, and patients are paid for their time as study participants.
3. Laboratory Tests where physical and chemical properties of new products are compared to standard products.