Clinical and Translational
Clinical and Translational Dentistry
(i) Periodontology, Implantology and Maxillofacial Surgery
Periodontal disease is one of the most common infections in humans. This research theme focuses on investigating diagnostic methods and treatment modalities for the management of periodontal disease and peri-implantitis. Research on this theme is carried out in the Division of Restorative Dentistry and Periodontology in collaboration with universities in Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.
A developing research theme in the DDUH is research into maxillofacial trauma and surgery and conscious sedation. Research is also ongoing in collaboration with the Bio-engineering Group in Trinity College Dublin in bone regeneration using stem cell seeded scaffolds.
Staff: Professor Noel Claffey, Professor Stefan Renvert (Visiting Professor), Dr. Ioannis Polyzois, Prof. Leo Stassen, Dr. Mary Clarke, Mr. David Ryan, Dr. Denise MacCarthy, Dr. Brendan Grufferty, Ms. Catherine Waldron, Dr. Veronica Fisher and Dr. Osama Omer.
(ii) Quality of Life Outcomes
Modern healthcare no longer just looks at success of treatment but also the benefit to the patient. Quality of life describes the general well-being of individuals and is normally assessed through interview or standard questionnaires. In healthcare it also refers to how the individual’s wellbeing may be impacted over time by a disability or disease. Research in the Dublin Dental University Hospital has been ongoing for more than ten years and has covered areas such as the quality of life benefits of prosthetic and dental implant treatment, quality of life issues for patients with developmental dental anomalies and the ranking of missing teeth from a patient perspective.
Staff: Professor Brian O’Connell, Dr. Frank Houston, Dr. Michael O’Sullivan, Dr. Alison Dougall, Dr. Atef Hashem and Ms. Catherine Waldron.
(iii) Special Care Dentistry
Special Care Dentistry has a thriving research programme with postgraduate students in Ireland and abroad. The specialty has programmes looking at effective ways to deliver oral health support in a ‘Training the Trainers’ programme as well as ongoing research into the evidence base for choices around preventive care. The most appropriate treatment modalities under sedation and general anaesthesia for people with special oral health care needs is an ongoing area of research. A completed PhD project examined oral health services in the provision of a dedicated dental health prevention programme for pre-school children with disabilities and another PhD project is underway in Trinidad, looking at a similar topic on the oral health of pre-school children and the value of motivational interviewing. How and why patients with serious medical conditions make choices around oral health care is another developing, qualitative piece of research.
Staff: Professor June Nunn, Dr. Caomhin MacGiollaPhadraig and Dr. Alison Dougall
(iv) Oral Cancer and Mucosal Disease
Head and neck cancers are the 6th most common type of cancer worldwide. The DDUH is involved in a Pan-European study co-ordinated by the IARC investigating the role of genetics, lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol consumption) and human papilloma virus in the aetiology of oral cancer. Research is also ongoing into the analysis of precancerous oral lesions such as oral leukoplakia. In collaboration with researchers in DIT the DDUH is investigating the application of RAMAN spectroscopy as a tool for prediction those leukoplakias with high malignant potential. The DDUH is also involved in fundamental research on the mechanisms and promotion of the transformation of normal oral mucosal cells to cancer cells. This research is aimed at improving early detection and resolution which is imperative in this patient cohort. Research is also ongoing on other mucosal diseases such as orofacial granulomatosis, an uncommon condition closely related to Crohn’s disease.
Staff: Prof. Leo Stassen, Prof. Stephen Flint, Dr. Claire Healy, Dr. Mary Toner, Dr. Jeff O’Sullivan.