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Clinical and translational research

Clinical research aims to improve patient care and to achieve better outcomes for our patients. We focus on studies of direct clinical relevance as well as the translation of basic research into clinical practice with the objective of delivering better and more efficient treatments.

Programme leader:
Professor Warwick Duncan

Research projects

A novel approach to caries management in New Zealand children: The Hall Technique.

The Hall Technique is a novel method of managing decayed primary teeth,without injections or drilling, by sealing in the decay with a stainless steel crown. This research will examine the training of dental therapists in the Hall Technique, and the practicalities of using the Hall Technique in the New Zealand primary care setting.

Caries management with ICON in children.

This research will investigate the use of resin infiltration to seal early decayed lesions between teeth (ICON) compared with a fluoride varnish.

Working lengths and root canal fillings in immature permanent anterior teeth.

This radiographic study will examine the influence of a variety of factors on the accuracy and consistency of radiographic interpretation.

Biomimetics research

Biomimetics in dentistry means to copy what is life-like. When restoring teeth, the goal is to return the tooth to its original form and function. Biomimetic research in dentistry investigates the materials and techniques used to achieve that goal. The Biomimetic Research Group undertakes research that creates and validates dental treatment paradigms for restorative dentistry that have a goal of mimicking natural healthy dentition.

Practice-based research network

We have developed a Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) called ARCH (Applied Research through Clinicians’ Hands). ARCH will reach out to dental practitioners throughout New Zealand to conduct research of direct clinical relevance to New Zealand and to bring the wealth of data that exists in individual dental practices and the public sector to benefit all patients.

Fostering relationships between practitioners and academics

ARCH fosters relationships between practitioners and academics in New Zealand; it brings a focus on clinical care and the research that underpins it. ARCH offers opportunities for collegiality, and learning for all New Zealand dentists both private and public.

A symposium was held in June 2013 to introduce the concept to NZ dental practitioners. Links with international PBRNs in Australia, Scotland and the USA have been initiated such that members of ARCH will be part of this international network.

The types of studies to be undertaken within PBRNs include:

  • Retrospective studies using dental records
  • Observational studies of routine care
  • Case-control studies
  • Clinical trials

A subsequent symposium was held in February 2014:
Starting in research? - Let's get it right!

Scholarships to support postgraduate clinical research are available.
Contact us about ARCH scholarships