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Our Projects


Phonetic Contrasts of Adults with Dental Discrepancies: Pre and Post-Treatment Analyses

Speech-sound disorders (SSDs) can negatively influence perceived intelligence and self- esteem with long-term repercussions. Speech distortions are 20-times more frequent in patients with severe skeletal malocclusions than in the general population. Patients with severe malocclusions requiring orthodontics and jaw surgery for full correction are known as having a Dentofacial Disharmony (DFD) and include patients with underbites (Class III), overbites (Class II) and/or anterior open bites (AOB), with or without orofacial clefting. We have found significant spectral differences between DFD cohorts and Class I controls pre-operatively, with postoperative changes in speech. Establishing a quantitative functional benefit for speech associated with DFD treatment may assist with insurance reimbursement of orthognathic surgery.


Animal Assisted Therapy's Effects on Young Dental Patients


Animal Assisted Therapy's Effects on Young Dental Patients

Dental anxiety (DA) affects 50-80% of adults and 6-22% of children. DA has been linked to dental avoidance and adverse outcomes including infection, surgery and death. Behavioral management techniques aimed at improving experiences must be employed during childhood. The use of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) in dentistry holds promise for improving dental experiences. This study is evaluating AAT as a non-pharmacological approach to reduce stress and pain in pediatric dental patients, with potential to guide implementation of AAT throughout dentistry. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether AAT alleviates stress and improves perceptions during pediatric dental care. AAT could serve as a low risk, widely welcomed approach for managing pain, anxiety and providing positive experiences to encourage lifelong oral health.


Evaluating Treatment Outcomes of Growing Class III Dentofacial Disharmony Patients Receiving Bone Anchored Mini Plates (BAMP)

Class III malocclusion, or an underbite, in which the lower jaw and teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth can cause a myriad of negative outcomes including impaired speech and mastication, excessive wear on teeth, and jaw pain. For full correction, non-growing Class III DFD patients require invasive jaw surgery and lengthy orthodontics. In this study, we are evaluating the efficacy of bone anchored maxillary protraction plates (BAMP) to influence craniofacial development in growing Class III patients, as an approach to avoid or reduce the severity of jaw surgery.  These findings will provide valuable insight to the effects of BAMP as an orthodontic treatment option for growing Class III patients. 

Antiviral Efficacy and Acceptability of Therapeutic Antiseptic Mouth Rinses for the Inactivation of Covid Sars-2 Virus

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Covid 19

Antiviral Efficacy of Therapeutic Antiseptic Mouth Rinses for the Inactivation of Covid Sars-2 Virus

The COVID-19 global pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, represents a public health risk. Evaluating the potential for antiviral mouthrinses to inactivate SARS-CoV2 holds great potential for quelling the virus’ spread among healthcare workers. Dentists work in close proximity to the mouth and nasal passages with many procedures producing salivary airborne particles, particularly those involving ultrasonic and rotary instruments (hand pieces, “drills”) and 3-way syringes. This study aims to evaluate the use of antiviral oral rinses as a method to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus in the saliva of known COVID+ subjects, in hopes of reducing the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings. This study is rigorously addressing the in vivo utility of widely available oral rinses in limiting SARS-CoV-2 viral infectivity and their acceptability in the dental healthcare setting. 

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