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Dentistry lab

Facts & figures

Our research

  • Above world standard Excellence in Research Australia rankings 2018
  • 33 in the world QS World Rankings by subject 2018

Research at Sydney Dental School

Putting the mouth back into health
With a focus on lifespan oral health, our research goes beyond the mouth to enhance studies in fundamental cell biology, microbiology, molecular biology and biomechanics, with our dental expertise.

About dentistry research

We're committed to the discovery of new principles and ideas. Our multidisciplinary research approach brings together the complementary expertise of the Faculty of Medicine and Health's schools, centres and institutes with that of our affiliated teaching hospitals, institutes and international research partnerships.

Our researchers are not limited by the confines of the mouth, but enhance studies in fundamental cell biology, microbiology, molecular biology and biomechanics, with our dental expertise. It is our goal to ‘put the mouth into health.’

Our research is structured around cross-disciplinary themes focused on improving health outcomes.

Research highlights

  • Our researchers, in collaboration with the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, have been awarded a $170,000 Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Rapid Applied Research Translation (RART) Grant to scale up a school-based fluoride varnish program for Aboriginal children in NSW. This project is co-designed with Aboriginal people and aims to reduce and prevent tooth decay. 
  • Dr Christina Adler, one of the University's 2019 SOAR fellows, is currently lead investigator of an NHMRC grant-funded project using twins to study how genetic and environmental factors influence the developing oral microbiota and drive disease (ie dental caries development) in early childhood.
  • Dr Rahena Akhter has received a 2018 Wrigley Company Foundation ADHF Community Service Grant for her research ‘Improvement of lifespan oral health in children with cerebral palsy: a pragmatic approach’. The project aims to break the cycle of poor oral hygiene and the significant harmful health sequelae that may follow in this population.

Hear from our Chair of Lifespan Oral Health

Major research themes

We conduct research across a number of the Faculty of Medicine and Health's major research themes including:

Other research themes

Chronic diseases research in dentistry covers community oral health, diseases of the mouth and their treatments. We have a number of sub-themes in this area of research:

  • caries and periodontal pathogenesis
  • periodontal unit consisting of periodontal regeneration, gingival recessions, implants/peri-implantitis, photodynamic therapy, HIV projects
  • mucosal pathologies, including oral pathology and oral medicine
  • interventional caries management, including population oral health and clinical epidemiology
  • educational research.
Research initiatives

Our current program of research includes:

  • proteomics and structural genomics of oral pathogens
  • oral bacteria and infective endocarditis
  • polymicrobial aetiology of caries progression
  • targeted control of oral pathogens in periodontitis
  • determinants of oral infection in high-risk Aboriginal communities
  • the role of oral bacteria in immune development in marsupials.
Key researchers

Our centres and institutes