Dental public health and health services research

Dentistry patient in clinic


Our Dental Public Health and Health Services research group focuses on research in:

  • oral health issues related to public health
  • oral migration and inequalities 
  • oral health in the UK and overseas


Filling Children's Teeth: Indicated Or Not (FiCTION)

The FiCTION research partnership includes co-applicants and collaborators from the majority of dental schools in the UK. The research project, led by Professor Gail Douglas in Leeds, Professor Janet Clarkson and Dr Nicola Innes in Dundee and Dr Anne Maguire in Newcastle, is a randomised controlled study of caries management strategies for the primary teeth.

Concepts of how best to manage caries in the primary dentition vary widely between dentists and educational establishments, which is a feature of the lack of robust evidence.

This £2.9 million multi-centre study in 50 general dental practices around the UK aims to establish whether one method is better than another in preventing toothache and infection in young children with caries. The three strategies being tested are:

  • conventional management (fillings with the use of local anaesthetic and caries removal)
  • biological management (sealing of decay from the oral environment with partial or no caries removal and usually no local anaesthetic)
  • prevention only

This partnership between UK dental schools is an important example of specialists and researchers uniting to answer an important clinical question. It is anticipated to have direct impact on guidelines for the way dental caries in the primary dentition is managed worldwide. Being a NIHR funded study it is likely to also impact on UK policy

Partnerships and collaborations

Dental Public Health and Health Services Research Group has developed effective research collaborations and knowledge sharing partnerships within a number of related organisations and bodies, both within the Faculty of Medicine and externally.

Members of the Dental Public Health and Health Services Research Research group collaborate with Dental Public Health and Health Services Research across Europe, the United States and South America, notably they include The International Caries Detection (ICDAS) collaboration.

Further to this they are a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research, undertaking research into oral health issues relevant to public health in the UK and overseas and also work developing statistical methodologies to optimise clinical research evidence in oral health, in close collaboration with University of Leeds Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.


Dental Public Health and Health Services research group membership include:

Research Lead: Professor Gail Douglas

Dr Julia Csikar

Dr Stella Kwan

Professor Sue Pavitt

Dr Stefan Serban

Dr Karen Vinall-Collier

Dr Jianhua Wu