We undertake world-leading research that has significant impact on improving the delivery and quality of dental services and clinical care and reducing oral health inequalities.
Our research was judged to be excellent in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, in combination with allied health professions, nursing and pharmacy.
Dentistry has three highly successful and innovative core research areas:
- health technology;
- evidence synthesis/evidence based practice;
- craniofacial research.
These research areas are delivered through programmes of both basic science and health service research. Our internationally renowned research is funded by research councils, the NHS, the EU, charity and industry.
Craniofacial anomalies are among the most common and distressing congenital malformations affecting humans. Research in our laboratories uses systems-level approaches to delineate gene regulatory networks underlying development of the lip and palate, and dissect how their modification is related to the pathogenesis of cleft lip and palate.
Research in this group uses the latest genomics technologies to decipher the transcriptional networks that guide neural crest cells cell into forming diverse anatomical structures such as the face, the ear and the heart and shape the countless anatomical features of vertebrates.
Stem cell biology
This group studies embryonic stem (ES) cell pluripotency, with a special interest in the role of adhesion molecules. The group has also a major focus on developing new methods for the growth and differentiation of ES cells in bioreactors, to expand the clinical applications of ES cell-based therapies.
Adhesive biomaterials and biomechanics/biomaterials science
This group conducts research at the clinical/basic science interface and covers many biomaterials for operative dentistry, prosthodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, and oral surgery, plus research on orthopaedic bone cements. Special interests include photo-polymerization phenomena, adhesion, visco-elastic behaviour, surface analysis, x-ray microtomography and a wide range of composite biomaterial behavior.
Clinical craniofacial research
Cleft lip and palate are among the most common congenital malformations. Our aim is to reduce the human burden associated with cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial problems, through creation of a platform to rapidly develop, co-ordinate, support, and undertake a broad range of applied research.
Caries and diagnostic research
Our work includes both laboratory based development and in field clinical trials. We have strong collaborative links with groups in Asia, China, United States and South America.
Current research interests include assessment and characterisation of dental fluorosis, water fluoridation and prevention of extractions for dental caries under general anaesthetics in children.
Oral radiology and imaging
Our researchers in this area have an overriding aim of promoting evidence-based use of x-ray based imaging, taking into account the diagnostic benefits and the risks.
This aim is addressed through three main research strategies:
- systematic review and national/European guideline development;
- medical physics-focused laboratory research;
- clinical studies with patients.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) corrects a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and hard/soft tissues of the oral/maxillofacial region.
Current research includes prevention of postoperative pain, prevention of domestic violence, aetiology of neuropathic pain, and axonal regeneration within the trigeminal system.
Dental public health and primary care
Our researchers use a variety of study designs (large pragmatic trials, epidemiological observational studies, qualitative studies, quasi-randomised studies and interrupted time series studies and health economic modelling) to investigate fundamental research questions to inform dental policy and the commissioning of dental public health programmes and dental services.
We have a strong reputation for the delivery of high-quality systematic reviews, predominantly through our support of Cochrane Oral Health. Researchers in this area also investigate aspects of clinical trial and systematic review methodology, and are involved in the development of national and international evidence based guidelines.
Head of Division
Professor Paul Coulthard
View list of researchers within the Division
Professor Anne-Marie Glenny
tel: +44 (0)161 2757811