Dentistry lab

Facts & figures

Our research

  • 3rd in Australia for dentistry (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022)
  • $7M in research income over past five years
  • 402 publications in past five years
  • 2,867 generated citations in past five years
  • 1.4 average category normalised citation impact (CNCI) in past five years
  • 30 Higher degree by research (HDR) students currently enrolled
  • 29 Higher degree by research (HDR) students graduated over past five years

Research at Sydney Dental School

Putting the mouth 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

  • Associate Professor Ayman Ellakwa is part of a team of Australian researchers who have received a CRC-P grant with a total project value of $8.3 million, to develop a new fiber-reinforced dental composite.
  • Professor Woosung Sohn has secured funding from Sydney Health Partners to scale up the existing rural and regional pilot fluoride varnish program, targeting Aboriginal school children into urban communities.
  • 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 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.

Noel Martin Visiting Chair

The Noel Martin Visiting Chair program invites prominent academics and researchers from around the world to visit the Sydney Dental School during a sabbatical to share their expertise with our students, our academics (both within Sydney Dental School and in the wider University community) and our alumni. The purpose of these visits is to enhance student learning experience, foster new and ongoing research collaborations and raise the profile of the school and oral health issues within the community. 

All visiting chairs:

2017: Professor James Deschner, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

2018: Professor Sudarat Kiat-amnuay, University of Texas at Houston

2019: Professor Tara Renton, Kings College London

2020: Associate Professor Vesna Miletic, University of Belgrade

2023: Professor Donald Chi, University of Washington

Our research

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