AADR/CADR Annual Meeting & Exhibition

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA – March 21-24, 2018


AADR 2018 Symposium WorkshopThe South Atlantic Region of the National Dental PBRN hosted a Symposium/Workshop at the American Association of Dental Research (AADR) in late March. The symposium “Advancing Research to Integrate Medical and Dental Care” celebrated the launching of NIDCR 2030 goals and featured several speakers, among them Dr. Martha Somerman, director of NIDCR, Dr. Gregg Gilbert, Director of the Network, Dr. Gypsyamber D’Souza speaking on HPV: Risk Factors and Epidemiology, Dr. Brad Rindal reporting the results of a Network study on HPV, and Dr. Betsy Shenkman talking about the Network results on the management of health risk assessment in dental offices.

The three hour-long program had multiple presentations, round table discussions, and a panel discussion. More than 200 individuals from all six regions of the National Network attended the program which had the participation of researchers, dentists, academicians, physicians, nurses, hygienists, patients, NIH staff, research coordinators, students, deans, associate deans, industry, dental insurance, VA medical center, clinicians from large group practices and from solo practices, as well as public health and federal qualified health centers, international attendees, and American Dental Association representatives. With the diversity of the various stakeholders participating, the round-table discussion sessions after the presentations were engaging, lively, and informative.

The meeting was concluded with a dynamic panel discussion, with speakers and subject authorities, covering several areas of discussion in greater depth, and allowing questions from the audience. “Thank you for offering this systematic health convention. I appreciated the diversity of panelists and participants” was one of the many positive feedbacks received from participants.

The interactive meeting, with participation from a diverse group of individuals and highlighting the results of existing studies in the Network, was an excellent example of the NIDCR commitment to improving health care and the take-off of one of the five NIDCR 2030 goals: “integrating medical and dental care”.

AADR 2018 Symposium Workshop

AADR 2018 Symposium Workshop

AADR 2018 Symposium Workshop

August 2017

ADA News

Contribute to science from your office with national research nonprofit

August 07, 2017

By Michelle Manchir

Reprinted from the news article, found here.

Dental professionals don’t need to leave their offices to be involved in clinical studies that aim to advance the science of the profession.

The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network, funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for its work, is encouraging more dental professionals around the country to be part of its network of more than 6,000 dentists, hygienists and others in the field.

There is no cost for membership and it can include as much involvement as participating in clinical trials or as little as filling out online questionnaires or simply receiving email updates about the nonprofit’s study results, said Dr. Sonia Makhija, the network’s director of communications and dissemination and a University of Alabama at Birmingham instructor. Dr. Makhija has served as the study principal investigator for three clinical network studies on suspicious occlusal caries lesions.

Distribution of patients infographicNational Dental PBRN Regions infographic

The studies, said Dr. Makhija, “established prevalence of, as well as important information, regarding the management of these lesions.”

The results of these and other network studies, as well as a list of studies for which it’s recruiting, are available on the network’s website,

Topics for ongoing studies include detection of human papillomavirus, root canal treatment, temporomandibular disorders and use of electronic dental records in clinical research.

Participation in some of the studies sometimes require advance work, such as reading materials in or participating in a conference call, according to the network’s website. The network, which is divided into six geographic regions, also has some region-specific requirements that may require dentists to complete Human Subjects Protection training.

For Dr. Daniel Barletta, a dentist in Rochester, New York, participation in the network, specifically a study focused on predicting outcomes of root canal treatment, “had a tremendous impact on my practice,” he said.

“It changed the way I talk to patients about the post-op experience,” he said.
That study hopes to include 150 practitioners and 1,650 patients to investigate risk factors for severe pain following root canal therapy; the prevalence and impact of persistent pain following root canal therapy; and the impact of severe and persistent pain on health-related quality of life.

Participation with the network also includes access to a member forum on the network website, allowing participants to discuss and network.

The network’s website describes additional benefits to being part of the network, including enhancing communication with patients by showing their dentist cares about the scientific basis of clinical practice, and team building for staff by engaging them in clinical discovery and quality improvement.

Dr. Martha Somerman, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research director, sums up the network’s value in a video on the network site.

“These practitioners are not only caring for their patients, they’re also contributing to research to answer real-life clinical questions and generating scientific evidence that will help shape the future of dentistry,” she said.

For more information or to be come a member of the network, visit or email



January 2016

UF College of Dentistry’s Office of Research features Dr. Valeria Gordan as the Faculty Spotlight in their Winter Newsletter

Reprinted below from the newsletter, found here.gordan

Faculty Spotlight

Valeria Gordan, D.D.S., M.S., Director of the South Atlantic Region of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network

The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network is a consortium of participating practices and dental organizations committed to advancing knowledge of dental practice and ways to improve it.  Essentially, it is “practical science” done about, in, and for the benefit of “real world” everyday clinical practice. The grant is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).*

UF is one of six regions in the network and it provides the infrastructure for the South Atlantic (SA) Region which encompasses five states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Dr. Gordan serves as the principal investigator for the SA region. She and her team at UF provide input into the development of protocols, implementation of the studies in the field, processing data from the offices, as well as publication and presentation of the research results.

As examples of the type of network research, there are two longitudinal studies currently on the field: a Cracked Tooth Registry, designed to capture data about cracked teeth before and after treatment and assess their outcome, and a Dentin Hypersensitivity Study, which evaluates treatment recommendations and results. The primary goal of the network is to improve oral health thus, the patients’ quality of life. The network has approximately 6,300 members nation-wide and about 1,300 of them are from the SA region.

In the network, Dr. Gordan acts as both the director of the SA Region and nationally as the director of Practitioner Education and Training for the entire Network. She has also been a member of the Publication and Presentation Committee for the network since its inception in 2004. Her collaboration in study development at UF has a wide range involving not only faculty in restorative dental sciences, but also in community dentistry and behavioral science, orthodontics, oral surgery, psychology, the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the College of Medicine.

Dr. Gordan has mentored and served as a consultant to universities in the US, Japan, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and United Kingdom.  At UF she mentors four faculty in restorative dental sciences and, at the request of Dr. Martha Somerman, the NIDCR director, she led an international symposium to discuss the global impact of the national network. The successful symposium had participation of 20 countries. Another symposium is planned for March 2016 at the AADR meeting.

Although she has been involved mainly in research for the past decade, her career has been highlighted by teaching awards including UF Teacher of the Year, Faculty of Honor in the Professionalism and Coating Ceremony, and The Dental Educator Award from the Florida Dental Association. Nationally she is a Fellow of the Leadership Institute at the American Dental Education Association and internationally, she will receive the Buonocore Memorial Lecture Award this February in Chicago from the Academy of Operative Dentistry in celebration of her career. She also maintains a busy faculty practice since she started her career at UFCD in 1997.


December 2015

Interview with Dr. Valeria Gordan featured on

Interview reposted from here

Should you repair or replace that restoration?

Article Thumbnail ImageDecember 10, 2015 — Should you repair or replace that restoration? The findings of a new study may help you answer that question. Researchers found that replaced restorations had a lower overall failure rate, but repaired restorations that failed needed less-severe treatment.

The study analyzed nearly 6,000 restorations one year after placement. Whether the restoration was repaired or replaced, the type of material used, and the number of surfaces involved all significantly affected the likelihood a restoration would fail (Journal of the American Dental Association, December 205, Vol. 146:12, pp. 895-903).

“Although repaired restorations may have required additional treatment more often than replaced restorations, they required a more conservative treatment — one that did not involve replacing the entire restoration, or, even worse, endodontic and extraction treatments,” lead author Valeria Gordan, DDS, said in an interview with

Quantifying restoration failure

Repairing restorations rather than replacing them can save the tooth structure, reduce stress on the tooth’s pulp, delay the restoration cycle, and cut back on the amount of time that the patient is in the chair, according to the authors. However, because the treatment method is still somewhat controversial, the researchers set out to see if there were any quantifiable differences.

They used 2008-2009 data collected from 195 dentists who were part of the dental practice-based research network (DPBRN). Dr. Gordan, a professor and the director for dental practice-based research at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, specifically noted that the study analyzed restorations in a practice setting because of its real-world application.

“Practice-based research is the ultimate test of dental restorations, as the clinical conditions are not controlled and the research is done in a real-world setting,” she said.

Dr. Gordan and colleagues ultimately included 5,889 restorations from 4,482 patients in the study analysis. Some restorations were excluded for reasons such as being only temporary or lack of data.

One year after the restorations were repaired or replaced, the dentists graded their quality, assigning either an acceptable or not acceptable rating. Acceptable restorations were satisfactory or, although they deviated from the ideal condition, didn’t need additional treatment. Not-acceptable restorations needed additional treatment because they were already causing damage or were likely to cause damage in the future.

Restorations needing additional treatment
after 12 months
Type Total no. No. needing additional treatment Percentage
Repaired restorations 1,498 144 7%
Replaced restorations 4,391 234 5%

The researchers found that a restoration was more likely to be rated as not acceptable if it was repaired rather than replaced. However, few restorations in both categories were graded not acceptable.

“Although the rate of additional treatment was small — less than 7% — I was somewhat surprised that repaired restorations required additional treatment more often than replaced restorations,” Dr. Gordan said.

“Although the rate of additional treatment was small—less than 7%—I was somewhat surprised that repaired restorations required additional treatment more often than replaced restorations.”

— Valeria Gordan, DDS

Although repaired restorations needed additional treatment more often, they also needed less-severe treatment than replaced restorations. Only 25% of teeth with a repaired restoration required endodontic treatment or extraction after 12 months, while 42% of teeth with replaced restorations did. The study authors suggest that this is because “restorations that are replaced lose a significant amount of healthy tooth structure.”

The researchers also found that restorations were likely to need additional treatment in the following cases:

  • Multiple surfaces were involved.

  • The restoration fractured.

  • Amalgam was used.

  • The restoration was placed by a dentist in a large group practice, as opposed to a solo practice, small group practice, or public healthcare setting.

Deciding to repair or replace an existing restoration

While this study evaluated a large number of restorations, it did not evaluate patients’ caries risk, which impacts the chance of a restoration failing, according to the authors. It is also only a short-term evaluation.

“Based on the results of our previous long-term clinical studies, we believe that most of the failure related to repair and/or replacement treatment is most likely to occur within the first year after the insertion of the restoration,” Dr. Gordon said. “We would like to extend the observation period of research done in a practice-based setting to confirm that this is indeed the case.”

Dentists need to consider a variety of factors when deciding to repair or replace an existing restoration, including minimally invasive dentistry and ways to preserve a tooth’s structure, Dr. Gordan said.

“Before deciding on a restoration, dentists should also consider the several factors that affect the longevity of dental restorations — the type and size of the restoration, the restorative material involved, as well as the patient’s factors,” she said. “I would also add to the list, if the patient maintains regular appointments in the same dental practice.”

November 2015

In early November, the National DPBRN was excited to host Dr. Naoki Kakudate, visiting professor from Japan. During his stay, Dr. Kakudate got a first-hand look into the inner workings of the South Atlantic regional administrative site, seen here with the team during our weekly meeting.

Naoki at Meeting

Dr. Kakudate also had a chance to meet some of our other colleagues in UFCD, and share insights about his own experience with practice based research in Japan, at a lunch-and-learn hosted by the National DPBRN.

Overall Dr. Naoki Kakudate and the National DPBRN had a fun, engaging, and productive visit. We look forward to his return in the spring.

Naoki Presents 1

Naoki Presents 3

October 2015

The National Dental PBRN was present at the Southern Association of Orthodontists (SAO) annual meeting in Orlando earlier this month. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is supporting the Network on the recruitment of clinicians for an orthodontic study involving patients with “Anterior Open-bite”, a difficult treatment problem. Dr. Calogero Dolce, chair of the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Florida, and Dr. John Zhang, chair of the Department of Orthodontics at Jacksonville University were instrumental in bringing the forthcoming study to the attention of orthodontists attending the event.  The meeting offered an opportunity to recruit new members to the National Network, interact with UFCD alumni and educate the orthodontists from 11 different states in the Southern region of the US about the benefits of participating in practice-based-research.

We appreciate the support of the AAO/SAO leadership and especially the assistance of Drs. Dolce and Zhang in the recruitment of this prospective, observational 3.5 year cohort study involving approximately 840 adult patients.

Dolce pic

Dr. Calgero Dolce


August 2015

August Member Highlight

This August, we would like to shine a spotlight on Dr. Susan Hudak Boss, a practitioner from Seminole, FL, and a member in the South Atlantic Region. Dr. Hudak Boss is a general dentist and she has been with the Network since its inception. She has participated in many studies and is currently participating in both the Cracked Tooth Registry and the Suspicious Occlusal Caries Lesion studies. Dr. Hudak Boss has represented the Network in poster presentations at the International Association of Dental Research/American Association of Dental Research meetings. Beginning in 2016, Dr. Hudak Boss will be one of the new Executive Committee members. The South Atlantic Region and The National Network are fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented practitioner as a member.

Hudak in Action 2015


“I am impressed with the superb quality and sheer depth of positive impact that the National Dental PBRN has had for private dental practitioners. As a solo-practitioner, the National Dental PBRN has provided me with a direct link to a team of experts fully committed to research. This non-traditional expert team regularly provides me with evidence-based answers to daily practice challenges. As a result my patients, my staff and I enjoy being a part of the advancement of dental care and contributing to the future of dentistry. My staff and I are proud to be affiliated with this organization that has its foundation rooted in research while simultaneously meeting the vast array of needs of private dental practitioners.”

January 2015


The Network, in cooperation with the American Association of Orthodontists, will launch a study involving orthodontists in the latter half of 2015. The study is being led by Dr. Greg Huang, Chair at the University Of Washington Department Of Orthodontics. The project will recruit 250 orthodontic practitioners from across the nation who are interested in conducting research in their own offices.

If you know of any orthodontists who are interested in participating in a study and would like to join the network, please let them know to visit our web site to enroll online, or to contact one of the Regional Coordinators who can assist with the registration process and answer any questions.

 December 2014

NIH  Science Spotlight

Improving Dental Care through Research

dr-gilbertDr. Gregg Gilbert on the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network

In 2012, NIDCR awarded a $66.8 million, seven-year grant that consolidated its three regional dental practice-based research networks into one nationally coordinated effort. The consolidated initiative, renamed the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network is headquartered at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Dentistry. UAB leads and oversees the six regional research sites of the network.

Recently, Science Spotlight spoke with Gregg Gilbert D.D.S., M.B.A., the National Network Director and Chair of the UAB School of Dentistry’s Department of Clinical & Community Sciences, to ask how the work is going.

Click here to read the full interview.


Join Dental Practitioners in a Practice-Based Research Interactive Symposium

You are invited to the Symposium “Opportunities in the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network” at the IADR/AADR Annual Meeting in Boston, MA, on Friday, March 13th from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Registration to this workshop, box lunch, and 2 hours of CE are free for network members, but you must register to attend. As part of your registration you will also be allowed to attend other IADR/AADR sessions on the day of the event.

Symposium Overview

This luncheon symposium (lunch provided) will be a hybrid format of a traditional symposium with interactive “lunch and learn” table discussions. The symposium will start with an introduction and welcome by Dr. Martha Somerman, NIDCR Director, followed by 2 keynote presentations: “Resolving uncertainty in suspicious occlusal lesions through practice-based research”, Sonia Makhija, DDS, MPH, and James Bader, DDS, MPH and “Understanding how patients develop persistent pain following root canal therapy”, Donald Nixdorf, DDS, MS.

The keynote presentations will be followed by interactive breakout sessions. Registrants will be allowed to select from the following specific topic areas:

  1. Bi-directional Research – Dental caries
  2. Bi-directional Research – Pain
  3. Study Design – Dentine hypersensitivity
  4. Study Design – Oral cancer
  5. Study design – Dental caries
  6. Study Design – Incorporating behavioral science in practice-based research
  7. Understanding and improving practitioner/researcher Interactions
  8. Global/International Collaboration

Dental Researchers: Why you should attend

  • To understand how practice-based research is unique in that recruitment, data collection, and treatment are done by clinicians within the flow of routine clinical dental practice.
  • To gain an appreciation of the opportunities for research in the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.
  • To increase your understanding of study design opportunities and challenges in practice based dental research.
  • To understand and improve your communication with dental practitioners.
  • To increase your awareness of opportunities for bi-directional research.
  • To increase your communication with international practice-based investigators.

Dental Practitioners: Why you should attend

  • To have the unique experience of working with basic science and clinical dental researchers.
  • To participate in discussion with experts in their field, researchers and other clinicians, on research topics important in dental practice.
  • To understand the importance of the practitioner’s influence on practice-based research study design and the development of clinical studies.
  • To enhance practitioners understanding of clinical research methods, earn Continuing Education credit, and network with other experienced, and newly participating practitioners in the National Dental PBRN.

Benefits for other attendees

  • The nation’s network conducts research in a variety of clinical settings and provider types.
  • Clinic directors attending the workshop will be able to learn the strengths and limitations of practice-based research while providing valuable insight for researchers about building organizational support for studies vital to the organization.
  • The workshop can also benefit dental students who are interested in learning more about practice-based research.


Practitioners: To register click here.

Researchers: To register click here.

For additional information please contact our regional administrator, Kathy Bohn, at or phone 585-273-5272.

 Quick Poll Results


 Oil Pulling 

We would like to share the results of our recent poll on the practice of oil pulling.

We had 733 responses and almost 70% of respondents reported having heard about this procedure. This report will give the results for the 504 who had heard of oil pulling. For those respondents who were familiar with the practice, 47% did not have any patients in the past 3 months who used oil pulling as a method of oral hygiene, 51% reported having 1-5 patients who used the method, and 2% had 5 or more patients who routinely used this approach to oral hygiene.

Only 9% of the 504 had tried oil pulling themselves and only 6% recommend it as an augmentation to other forms of oral hygiene.

The most used and recommended oil was coconut oil. Other oils used include olive, sunflower, sesame, tea tree, and neem. 287 practitioners reported having at least one patient who practiced oil pulling, 76% of clinicians felt it had no effect, 20% felt it improved the oral condition of the patient, and 4% felt it had a negative effect. Some respondents questioned the effectiveness of oil pulling, feeling it is a fad, or that 20 minutes of swishing with water would be as effective. More information and research on the practice was requested. Click here to view the graphs with the summary of results and a list of some literature for additional information on the subject.

November 2014

Quick Poll Results


Dental Implant Failure

Dental implant failures are rare events. The contributory role of the patient’s medical conditions and medication(s) in dental implant failure is not fully understood. Drs. Subramanian and Quek from Rutgers were interested in investigating whether anti-resorptive therapies (e.g., bisphosphonates) contribute to dental implant failures. The survey questions were geared towards identifying early and delayed implant failures in conjunction with systemic conditions such as diabetes, diseases such as osteoporosis and cancer that necessitated anti-resorptive therapy. Implant failure was defined as ‘implant mobility in rotational, axial or horizontal direction’ in the presence/ absence of pain or discomfort and radiographic evidence of peri-implant bone loss.

Among 277 responders, 167 (nearly 60%) reported implant failures. Nearly a third of all implant failures were observed in the setting of systemic conditions in the patients, warranting a closer look at these entities. Anti-resorptive therapy has been reported by nearly 10-15% of the responders as associated with early and delayed dental implant failures. It was notable that over 120 of the nearly 170 responders who reported implant failures expressed their willingness to be contacted for additional information, important in order to build on this preliminary data. As the longevity of implants in an Implant Registry Study is explored further in the network, the results of this quick poll will help inform that workgroup.

Click here to view the table with the summary of results.

nixdDr. Donald Nixdorf will lead development of network study assessing outcomes of root canal treatment

Dr. Donald Nixdorf, Associate Professor in the Division of TMD & Orofacial Pain at the University of Minnesota, will lead development of a large prospective observational study within the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.

The study will assess outcomes of root canal treatment, and is a continuation of Dr. Nixdorf’s previous work within the Network, which includes research focusing on deterring predictors for severe acute post-operative pain and persistent pain after endodontic care.

Dr. Nixdorf will be assisted by seven investigators from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Alabama Birmingham, as well as additional researchers from the Network and Westat, a research corporation in Rockville, Md.

The Network aims to improve the nation’s oral health by sponsoring and conducting research in dental practices to improve patient care and to facilitate the translation of research findings into clinical practice.

 October 2014

New Video on Study Results Available

The video below describes the results from the network study on the repair or replacement of defective restorations.


National Dental PBRN hosts program course at ADA meeting


The annual meeting of the American Dental Association is one of the largest dental conferences in the world. This year the meeting was held in San Antonio, TX, near the administrative site of the Southwest Region of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN). The National Dental PBRN was honored to offer a program course for the first time since its establishment as a nation-wide collaborative effort. Network and practitioner representatives engaged an audience of both members and non-members in a 2.5 hour sold out presentation titled: “Practice-Based Research: How Can It Help My Practice?” Part of the presentation included a lively 1-hour discussion during which practitioners discussed the presentations and reflected on how conducting studies relevant to daily practice can help improve the practice of dentistry.

Dr. Dena Fischer, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) program director for the network, opened up the presentation with an overview and history of the network. The attendees then heard from Dr. Paul Benjamin, a network member and general practitioner in Miami, FL, about the importance of practice-based research and about the latest results from a recently completed Isolation Techniques study. Dr. Walter Manning, also a member and general dentist in Albany, OR then gave an overview of the Cracked Tooth Registry study, reviewed preliminary pilot study results and discussed his experiences conducting the study in his own practice. Southwest Region Director, Dr. Thomas Oates, then joined the presenters to help facilitate one of the discussion groups. Attendees broke into facilitated groups and had fun delving deeper into the two studies presented and reflected on how the results may impact their own practices. Dr. Gregg Gilbert, the network director, closed out the presentation by discussing what studies to expect next from the network. The presentation was full of energy and valuable insight was gained by both the audience and network members.

September 2014

Quick Poll Results


Dental Lasers


How are dental lasers used for periodontal therapy?

Dental lasers are a therapeutic option of increasing interest to practitioners. However, their role in periodontal therapy remains controversial. There are many strategies and types of dental lasers advocated for this purpose. In the network’s second Quick Poll Survey, Dr. Griselle Ortiz from Vandalia, Ohio and a workgroup interested in Laser-assisted periodontal therapy, wanted to better understand laser use by network members.

The survey had 434 responses, with more than one-third (37%) reporting using lasers as part of periodontal therapy. Of the dentists who reported using lasers, 80% of whom are general dentists, most (62%) use it less than once per week for periodontal care, and only 7% use it more than 5 times per week for periodontal care. The types of laser-supported services provided (% of users) included:

  • Pocket disinfection (54%)

  • Non-surgical periodontal therapy (52%)

  • Adjunct to scaling and root planing (46%)

  • Surgical periodontal therapy (32%)

  • Management of peri-implantitis (25%)

  • Low-level laser therapy (23%)

  • Other periodontal procedures (23%)

Among those who use a dental laser, a diode laser was the most common (79%), followed by Nd:YAG (13%) and ErCr:YSGG (10%). This survey had a high level of response for a Quick Poll, including 191 open-ended comments, suggesting that network practitioners are interested in the use of lasers for periodontal therapy. This survey provides insights for the Laser Protocol Development Workgroup as they address the question of laser efficacy in periodontal therapy through the National Dental PBRN.


March 2014

The National Dental PBRN and its role in the University’s Strategic Plan

Pearl Ann Harris, BASDH, RDH, CCRP spoke to the participants of the University of Florida, College of Dentistry’s Staff Retreat on March 5, 2014.

Ms. Harris talked the staff members about the Nations Network and how it works in perfect sync with the mission of the college. After explaining the background and mission of the Nations Network, she described how the Dental practitioners partner with Network researchers to evaluate existing and new strategies for improving patient’s oral health in the community.

Additionally, she stressed how the role of the National Network integrates all of the aspects of the college’s mission statement itself. “The Network provides direct research education and support to network practitioners and their staff; we teach them how to conduct research in the clinical office setting”. The Network members are offered the opportunity to “discover, disseminate and apply the knowledge they receive in the oral health sciences” to benefit their practice and the community just as the College of Dentistry’s Mission statement suggests.

The Nations Network also “fosters an environment that promotes communication, collaboration and cultural diversity…” by allowing the network practitioners the prospect of communicating and collaborating with expert institutional researchers at the University of Florida, as well as many other institutions across the United States, in order to share and design projects to further evidence based dental research through the community setting.

Ms. Harris closed by stating that many of the graduates of UF’s College of Dentistry will be future members of the Network and possibly even leaders in evidence-based community driven research projects.

DSC_0020fixPearl Ann Harris, Regional Coordinator for the National Dental PBRN, receives a 2014 University of Florida Superior Accomplishment Award

Pearl Ann Harris joined the University of Florida in 1999 as a Clinical Study Coordinator. In 2007, she joined the college’s National Dental Practice-Based Research Network as a Regional Coordinator I and was promoted to Regional Coordinator II in 2010.

Her primary responsibility is serving as an Education and Training Coordinator for the college’s portion of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network which fits well with her education and background. Ms. Harris has an Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene, a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene and is a Certified Clinical Research Professional.

Her job duties include serving as liaison between clinicians enrolled in the network and the network’s administration regarding matters related to the research programs, reviewing data submissions for accuracy, obtaining initial IRB approvals and assisting in protocol preparation for some aspects of the studies. Ms. Harris also serves as the “face” of the network by visiting involved clinicians to assist in implementing research programs; she also assists in training the dentists and thier staff to do research projects in their offices.

“Ms. Harris is extremely resourceful and routinely goes beyond her job assignments to assure that the network and the university missions are successful. She provides technical support in preparing lectures and presentations delivered at national and international forums, she has been a lead author in more than 11 abstracts submitted to international meetings, a co-author in another 21 abstracts, and a co-author on 2 publications ” said Valeria Gordan, D.D.S., M.S., M.S.-Cl., professor and director for the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network at the Universty of Florida.


February 2014

Dr. Paul Benjamin

The Effect of Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy on Hemoglobin A1c Levels in Persons With Type 2 Diabetes and Chronic Periodontitis: A Randomized Clinical Trial

  • The December 2013 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association featured an article “The Effect of Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy on Hemoglobin A1c Levels in Persons With Type 2 Diabetes and Chronic Periodontitis: A Randomized Clinical Trial”. This article was co-authored by Tom Oates, Director of the Southwest Region and network practitioners Mike Reddy and Bryan Michalowicz.

  • The purpose of this article was to determine if nonsurgical periodontal treatment reduces levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in persons with type 2 diabetes and moderate to advanced chronic periodontitis. The authors conducted the study through the Diabetes and Periodontal Therapy Trial (DPTT), a 6-month randomized clinical trial. Participants had type 2 diabetes, were taking stable doses of medications, had HbA 1c levels between 7% and less than 9%, and untreated chronic periodontitis.

  • The treatment group received scaling and root planing plus chlorhexidine oral rinse at baseline and supportive periodontal therapy at 3 and 6 months. The control group received no treatment for 6 months. At 6 months, mean HbA 1c levels in the periodontal therapy group increased 0.17% , compared with 0.11% in the control group, with no significant difference between groups. Periodontal measures improved in the treatment group compared with the control group at 6 months.

  • The authors concluded that nonsurgical periodontal therapy did not improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and moderate to advanced chronic periodontitis. These findings do not support the use of nonsurgical periodontal treatment in patients with diabetes for the purpose of lowering levels of HbA1c.

  • Click here to read the article.

    January 2014

    B_ThackerResearch Careers and The National Dental PBRN

    Presented at the Community Education Course, Santa Fe Dental Hygiene Day and Bridge Programs. January 30, 2014. Gainesville, FL.

    Brenda Thacker, RDH and Deborah McEdward, BS, RDH, Regional Coordinators at the University of Florida College of Dentistry for the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network gave an informational presentation to the senior dental hygiene students about how they could be involved in the network and answered questions about careers in the research field. They spoke to the students about the future opportunities and the benefits available to them as members of the National Dental PBRN after they graduate. The students had the opportunity to learn more about practice-based research. The National Network is funded by The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and as such its function is to the promote the general health of the American people, by improving their oral, dental and craniofacial health. The University of Florida in Gainesville is one of six institutions awarded a portion of a $67 million, seven-year grant from the institute. The grant has been used to create a national research network of dentists and dental hygienists.

National Dental PBRN November 2013 E-Update November 2013

Salivary characteristics and dental caries: evidence from general dental practices

  • The May 2013 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association featured an article entitled “Salivary characteristics and dental caries:evidence from general dental practices”. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether salivary characteristics are associated with recent dental caries experience. Practitioners from Northwest PRECEDENT (one of the three regional PBRNS that existed before our single, national network was created) collected data pertaining to a two-year cumulative incidence of dental caries and salivary characteristics during baseline assessment in an ongoing longitudinal study. The study consisted of 1,763 patients visiting 63 general dental practices.

  • The results showed that low resting pH (= 6.0) in the overall sample and low stimulated salivary flow rate (= 0.6 milliliter/minute) in older adults were associated with increased dental caries. Low buffering capacity was associated with decreased dental caries in children and adolescents. A thick, sticky or frothy salivary consistency also was associated with decreased dental caries in adults. Associations between other salivary characteristics and dental caries for the overall sample and within each age group were not statistically significant.

  • The authors concluded that salivary characteristics were associated weakly with previous dental caries experience, but did not find consistent trends among the three age groups. Different salivary characteristics were associated with an increased caries experience in older adults and a lowered caries experience in children and adolescents and adults.

Click here to view the PubMed abstract.

The 2nd Annual South Atlantic Regional Meeting was a Success!

The meeting took place on October 10-11, 2013 at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, Florida

The Meeting Overview and Presentation Highlights can be veiwed in the POST MEETING BROCHURE

Dr. Paul Benjamin

National Dental PBRN July 2013 E-Update

The July 2013 issue of the Journal of Dental Research featured an article entitled “Comparison of Ca(OH)2 with MTA for direct pulp capping: a PBRN randomized clinical trial”.


  • This randomized clinical trial evaluated and compared the success of direct pulp capping in permanent teeth with MTA (mineral trioxide aggregate) or Ca(OH)2 (calcium hydroxide). Thirty-five practices in Northwest PRECEDENT (one of the three regional PBRNs that existed before our single, national network was created) were randomized to perform direct pulp caps with either Ca(OH)2 or MTA and were followed for up to 2 years at regular recall appointments, or as dictated by tooth symptoms. The primary outcomes were the need for extraction or root canal therapy; either outcome constituted “failure” in this study. Teeth were also evaluated for pulp vitality, and radiographs were taken at the dentist’s discretion.

  • The probability of failure at 2 years was 32% for Ca(OH)2 vs. 20% for MTA. These results provided confirmatory evidence for a superior performance with MTA as a direct pulp-capping agent as compared with Ca(OH)2 when evaluated in a practice-based research network.

Click here to view the PubMed abstract.


  • 2013 Face-to-Face meeting in Hoover, AL

National Dental PBRN Face-to-Face meeting of Steering, Regional Coordination, and Executive Committees took place August 8 & 9 at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Hoover, Alabama

Mary Kelley, Kim Johnson, Sarah Basile, Dr. George Ford, Dr. Vanessa Burton, Emily Durand & Dr. Don Nixdorf Dr. Valeria Gordan & Deborah McEdwardDr. Tom Oats, Dr. Joseph Riley III, and Dr. George Ford



National Dental PBRN March 2013 E-update

National Dental PBRN featured in March 2013 ADHA magazine

  • Posted on: Apr 17, 2013The March 2013 issue of the American Dental Hygiene Association magazine, Access, features an article on the nation’s network. The article discusses the network, benefits of joining, and how research is conducted in the office. Please click here for the PDF version … Read More