What are the projects that we are currently working on?
Peri-implantitis Research – Our long-term goal is to assess whether existing implant surface treatments and / or therapeutics that target microbial removal have adverse events associated with alterations of titanium material properties. We have previously determined that chemotherapeutics, specifically Chlorhexidine, leave residues on titanium surfaces that alter their physicochemical characteristics and hinder their repopulation with osteoblasts, i.e. “re-osseointegration”. Recent results from our lab point to a vast increase in titanium levels in peri-implant plaque in peri-implantitis as compared to health. To assess whether this is caused by implant cleaning procedures we are currently conducting an RCT entitled: “Dental Hygiene Procedures Disrupt Healthy Homeostasis in Tissues Surrounding Dental Implants”.The aim of this RCT is to assess the effect of routine therapeutic treatments on titanium corrosion. Specifically, we assess whether dental hygiene procedures designed for use around teeth, such as ultrasonics, result in increased Ti dissolution, and consequent upregulation of inflammatory biomarkers in the peri-implant crevicular fluid of implants undergoing aggressive versus Ti-friendly cleaning. For recruitment information please see: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03384446
Diabetes Research – Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a very prevalent metabolic disorder in the adult population affecting roughly 17.7 million people in the US alone. The harmful effect of DM on implant integration and survival has been attributed to vascular complications in the alveolar bone that lead to compromised blood supply and decreased bone density. Nonetheless, the specific detrimental effects of DM in the alveolar bone have not been investigated in humans.
People with DM generally lose more teeth than persons without diabetes, but implant placement in not well controlled diabetics is not routinely performed due to the lack of relevant evidence and the risk for implant failure and associated complications. We are conducting a prospective clinical study to assess the safety and efficacy of implant placement in diabetics with good or poor glycemic control. Further we assess microvascular alterations in the diabetic bone structure and molecular changes occurring during hyperglycemia. For recruitment information please see: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02395315
Periodontal Effects of Ancient and Modern Drug Use – This study is a collaborate project with a team from the Department of Anthropology at Washington State University. The aim is to better understand the dynamics of plant alkaloids on oral health as well as their persistence in the oral cavity. We will analyze preservation dynamics in the mineralized plaque deposits of human teeth and the detectability of specific plant biomarkers and determine the association of drug use and quantity of residue with periodontal disease.