Dental public health and health services research

Dentistry patient in clinic

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

  • improving and protecting oral health in individuals and populations
  • orientation, effectiveness and equity of oral health services
  • oral health in the UK and overseas

The research group is a skilled and experienced multi-disciplinary team with expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Examples of the group’s work include the FiCTION randomised controlled trial in U.K. primary dental care which involved collaborators in most U.K. dental schools and was led by Professors Gail Douglas (Leeds), Janet Clarkson and Nicola Innes (Dundee) and Anne Maguire (Newcastle). This trial investigated the relative merits of three approaches to managing dentinal caries in the primary teeth of high caries risk children. This study, funded by NIHR is likely to influence future policy. Our group also works with Public Health England (PHE) on research and guidance to inform policy.

Other high profile international collaborative research includes the 6 million Euro EU-funded ADVOCATE project exploring the orientation of dental services towards effective preventive care; the ICDAS/ICCMS collaboration leading researchers and practitioners globally in evidence-based caries management; and partnership in undertaking COVID-19 research with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Dental Federation (FDI).

Postgraduate research topics focus on high impact public health issues, vulnerable groups and equity. Examples include smoking cessation and alcohol reduction advice services; antimicrobial stewardship in primary dental care; urgent dental care settings; improving caries diagnosis and management; oral health and services for vulnerable populations.