Dr Axel Spahr
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Dr Axel Spahr

Head of Discipline, Restorative &
Reconstructive Dentistry
Head of Discipline of Periodontics
Phone
02 9293 3274
Fax
02 9293 3335
Dr Axel Spahr

Axel Spahr is Acting Head of the Discipline of Restorative and Reconstructive Dentistry at the University of Sydney and Head of Periodontics at the Sydney Dental Hospital.

Axel is the former Head of Periodontics at the University of Ulm in Germany and has worked at various international universities and research facilities. He has additional training in microbiology, molecular biology, extensive experience in basic science research, animal research and clinical research. A/Prof. Spahr’s research interest includes periodontal regeneration, bone regeneration, periodontitis and systemic diseases, antimicrobial therapy as well as dental implants and peri-implant diseases.He has led large externally funded research projects and is collaborating with leading international research groups and companies in the field of periodontology, implantology and bone regeneration. He is author of numerous publications in international peer-reviewed dental and medical journals, book chapters and has presented his work at professional conferences worldwide. A/Prof Spahr is a board registered periodontal specialist, he works part time in an established specialist periodontal and implant practice in Sydney and is the past President of the Periodontal Research Group of the International Association of Dental Research (IADR).

Disciplines:Orthodontics, Endodontics, Biomaterials, Oral Pathology and Cellular/Molecular
Biology, Periodontics

The objective of the research group Oral Biomedicine and Regenerative Dentistry of the Dental Faculty, University of Sydney is to develop new biology-based approaches for the treatment of oral diseases, the promotion of improved oral health and ageing conditions, as well as the prevention of oral disorders.

In this way,

(i) innovative biology-based therapeutics shall be produced for the treatment of different oral diseases

(ii) advanced biomaterials shall be developed to re-engineer and regenerate damaged/lost oral hard and soft tissues.

(iii) investigations using frontier technologies shall be undertaken for a better understanding of the fundamental biological principles underlying the chronic oral diseases and the interactions between the oral and systemic diseases

In more detail, the core research group Oral Biomedicine and Regenerative Dentistry is focused on two major research areas within the field of Oral Biomedicine: (i) Bio-Regeneration and Bio-Engineering of Oral Tissues and (ii) Chronic Oral Diseases / Ageing Well. The reason for this focused strategy is to concentrate energy, efforts, resources and capacity of all dental/oral disciplines. It is also a declared goal of the research group Oral Biomedicine and Regenerative Dentistry to interact and cooperate with other disciplines outside the oral field like Medicine, Biosciences, Bio-Engineering and Bio-Materials. In this way, by combined efforts and by transfer and usage of cutting-edge technologies and materials, innovative biology-based solutions shall be sought for the current most prevalent oral/dental diseases and to meet the future challenges. A further goal of this research group is the development of biological strategies to improve the oral capacities and oral health of ageing people, taking into consideration the altered requirements of an ageing population.

Periodontal Regeneration/Gingival Recessions, Implants/Peri-implantitis,

Photodynamic Therapy, HIV, Periodontitis, Systemic Diseases

The aim of the research project Periodontal Regeneration/Gingival Recessions is to investigate the combined use of enamel matrix proteins and a xenogenic connective tissue graft to cover gingival recession defects. The idea of using enamel matrix proteins is to improve the long term stability of the soft tissue coverage by creating a new connective tissue attachment. The use of a xenogenic connective tissue graft would waive the harvesting of an autogenous connective tissue graft, thus reducing the time of the surgery and the discomfort to the patient.

The current aim of the research focus Implants/Peri-implantitis is to investigate the use and efficacy of Azithromycin in combination with mechanical debridement to treat/stabilise peri-implant bone loss. Another aspect of this research focus is the long-term survival/succes rate of implants including the impact of different parameters thereon e.g. suprastructure/prosthodontic restoration.

The research project Photodynamic Therapy was set up to evaluate the antibacterial capacity of photoactivated disinfection to treat infected periodontal pockets.

The HIV-project investigates oral health referral trigger tools for people living with HIV and the impact of xerostomia on oral health and oral health quality of life among HIV-1 infected adults attending routine monitoring in Australia. Furthermore, it evaluates the oral health knowledge, attitude and practices of health care professionals (including doctors, nurses, dieticians and social workers) who work with people who have HIV and other blood borne viruses.

There is increasing evidence about the possible association between periodontal diseases and diabetes, coronary heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Considering the prevalence of periodontitis worldwide and particularly in Australia and the prevalence of the other 3 systemic diseases worldwide and in Australia, we want to accomplish an interventional study in patients with one of the 3 systemic diseases and periodontitis to investigate if successful treatment of the periodontal disease has a beneficial impact on the particular systemic disease (progression, degree of inflammation, markers and dosage of the medication etc. ).This is also important against the background of the financial costs for the public service and/or the social system caused by the treatment of these diseases as well as of their sequelae.

  • International Association of Dental Research (IADR)
  • German Society of Periodontology (DGP)
  • German Society of Dental Implantology (DGZI)
  • International Team for Implantology (ITI)
  • Australian and New Zealand Academy of Periodontists (ANZAP)
  • Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS)

2000

Education-Prize of the University of Ulm for extraordinary performance in teaching and education.

2009

Walther Engel Award. Award of the Dental Academy of Karlsruhe and the dental federation of Baden-Württemberg for extraordinary achievements in dental research and dental education

Publications

Download citations: PDF; RTF; Endnote

Selected Grants

2018

  • Injectable bone extracellular matrix protein extract-polyethylene glycol diacrylate hybrid hydrogel scaffold for growth factor delivery and vascularization in bone tissue engineering, Spahr A, Obregon Miano F, Dehghani F, Australian Dental Research Foundation/Research Grant
  • Effect of air polishing with erythritol powder in the treatment of chronic periodontitis, Spahr A, Australian Periodontology Research Foundation/APRF Research Grants

2016

  • New methacrylate bone-derived extracellular matrix hydrogel for craniofacial tissue engineering, Obregon Miano F, Spahr A, Swain M, Bertassoni L, Australian Dental Research Foundation/Research Grant

There is increasing evidence about the possible association between periodontal diseases and diabetes, coronary heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Considering the prevalence of periodontitis worldwide and particularly in Australia and the prevalence of the other 3 systemic diseases worldwide and in Australia, we want to accomplish an interventional study in patients with one of the 3 systemic diseases and periodontitis to investigate if successful treatment of the periodontal disease has a beneficial impact on the particular systemic disease (progression, degree of inflammation, markers and dosage of the medication etc. ).This is also important against the background of the financial costs for the public service and/or the social system caused by the treatment of these diseases as well as of their sequelae.

The current aim of the research focus Implants/Peri-implantitis is to investigate the use and efficacy of Azithromycin in combination with mechanical debridement to treat/stabilise peri-implant bone loss. Another aspect of this research focus is the long-term survival/succes rate of implants including the impact of different parameters thereon e.g. suprastructure/prosthodontic