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THIS ISSUE:  New Bioscience Research Center  AADR Memphis Section  Research Spotlight:

Dr. Daranee VersluisTanbirojn


Volume 2

Issue 2

Winter 2012



Here we find ourselves again at the start of another calendar year – a very exciting place to be, where we can anticipate what the year ahead will hold and start laying the foundation for the things we hope to accomplish over the next 12 months. And of course, there are many things that I would like to see accomplished in dental research at UTHSC over the next year.

Beginning with the tangible changes – after a long wait, I hope to see both the Bioscience Research Center and the Clinical Research Center completed and running at full capacity by faculty and students by the spring of this year. Construction began in both of these centers in 2011 – the Bioscience Research Center at the beginning of year and the Clinical Research Center in November. The Bioscience Research, after nearly a year of active demolition and reconstruction, is awaiting final inspection and we anticipate that all equipment will be placed and ready to use within a few short months. In the Clinical Research Center, construction teams have begun making the small changes to the layout and updating the units. We are all excited to have these two new research centers at our disposal within the dental building this year.

Franklin Garcia-Godoy, D.D.S., M.S.

And continuing with the intangible successes from 2011, I hope to see a 25% increase in the number of funded research projects, and see an increase in the actual dollar amount of funding by at least 10%. We are off to a good start, with four new proposals submitted to industry sponsors and two proposals ready to be submitted to NIH in February. In addition, the number of research proposals to the Alumni Endowment has also been increasing. Even if funding is not secured for all of these proposals, it is important to continue to submit because if you don’t submit, you will never be funded. And finally, as more faculty became involved in research last year, it would be logical to expect to see an increase in the number of publications. Over the last few years, the number of publications has held steady around 55, so I plan to see the number of publications increase by half, bringing the total up around 75 for 2012.

I anticipate a great year ahead of us in dental research at UTHSC. I believe that we can continue to complete the necessary steps to make our research program one of the best in the nation and provide ample opportunities for our students to experience both clinical and basic science research before they leave our campus. Now is the best time to make plans for the year ahead. What will you do this year to help make our dental research program great? Dental Research edited by: Laurie Johnson, M.A.

Inside this Issue





New Bioscience Research Center | AADR Memphis Section





Administrative Suite Completed | Student Research Day 2012 Dr. Daranee Versluis-Tantbirojn






9 Take a look inside the newly renovated Bioscience Research Center



875 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38163 | (901) 448-6333 |


Chair, Department of Bioscience Research Director, Bioscience Research Center Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center Adjunct Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Memphis Adjunct Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Florida International University Senior Clinical Investigator, The Forsyth Institute, Boston, Massachusetts Adjunct Professor, Department of Conservative Dentistry and Periodontology, University of Munich

FACULTY Jegdish Babu, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Associate Professor Melody Barron, D.D.S. Assistant Professor Director, TMD/Sleep Disorder Clinic Mustafa Dabbous, M.S., Ph.D. Professor Chris Ivanoff, D.D.S. Assistant Professor Christopher Nosrat, D.D.S., Ph.D. Professor Mark Scarbecz, Ph.D. Professor Director of Planning and Assessment Edwin Thomas, M.S., Ph.D. Professor David Tipton, D.D.S., Ph.D. Professor Antheunis Versluis, Ph.D. Professor Director of Biomaterials Yanhui Zhang, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor


STAFF Brandy Clark, CDA, R.D.A Clinical Dental Assistant Kimberly DeMonaco, R.D.H. Clinical Research Associate Margaret Jefferson Sr. Research Assistant Laurel Johnson, B.A., M.A. Grants & Clinical Research Manager Geraldine Moore Lab Assistant Iva Pendleton Admin Service Assistant Nancy Turner Administrative Aide Linda Vincent TMD/Sleep Disorder Clinic Coordinator

Dental Research News


After two months of construction, the renovations to the Bioscience Research Center in the Dental Building are finally complete. Starting in November 2011, equipment that was temporarily stored in the Boling Center was moved into place. Now, the center is complete and will be ready for research use this spring. The new Bioscience Research Center boasts nearly 1600 square feet of usable research space. A new ventilation system was installed, along with a new hood, counters, cabinets, and tiling. In the center, there is the main laboratory space, along with increased storage space and a designated work space for student researchers.

The new research space is located on the A-floor along the northern corridor. Lab equipment will be moved back to the Bioscience Research Center beginning in February.

AADR MEMPHIS SECTION – JOIN NOW! Are you a faculty or student member of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR)/International Association for Dental Research (IADR)? If so, now is the time to join the AADR Memphis Section to become more involved in dental research on the local level.

Efforts are currently underway to increase the activities of the Memphis Section and reestablish regular meetings and lectures. After the unfortunate departure of a few members of the Executive Committee of the Memphis Section, activities had decreased precipitously. The remaining members of the Executive Committee approached Dr. Franklin Garcia-Godoy and asked him to reestablish the group with a new committee. In November, a small group of members met and voted to elect the following Executive Committee for the current term (which will run from November 1, 2011 to October 31, 2012):

President: President-Elect: Vice-President: Secretary: Treasurer:

Dr. Daranee Versluis-Tantbirojn (Associate Professor, Dept. of Restorative Dentistry) Dr. Liang Hong (Associate Professor | Director of Community Oral Health) Dr. Anastasios Karydis (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Periodontology) Dr. Edwin Thomas (Professor, Dept. of Bioscience Research) Dr. Yanhui Zhang (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Bioscience Research)

Guest lectures will begin in January 2012 and will be held on a quarterly basis. The Memphis Section Executive Committee will meet on a regular basis and will be advised by the Senior Executive Associate Dean for Research. Membership in the AADR Memphis Section will include invitation and attendance at the quarterly guest lectures, lunch-and-learn sessions, and review/assistance with research proposals. Membership dues will be $25/year for faculty and $1/year for students. All faculty and students must be members of the AADR/IADR in order to become members of the local section. For more information about the AADR Memphis Section, please contact one of the members of the Executive Committee as listed above. 4

College of Dentistry News


After nearly a year of construction, the Administrative Suite is finally renovated and “open for business.” The Dean and Associate Deans (except for the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Affairs and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs) are once again located on the Afloor of the dental building.

The suite underwent esthetic changes with new paint, carpeting, lighting, and hardware, but also was reconfigured – moving the Dean’s Conference room, rearranging the placement of offices, and combining the former Academic Affairs office with that of the Dean.


The afternoon will begin with a keynote lecture at 1:00 and will include table clinics and poster presentations immediately following the address. Clinics and presentations will include clinical science, basic science, clinical procedures, literature reviews, topics in dental education, or any other topic of interest to the dental professional. Presentations are NOT restricted to research.

Any student interested in presenting at the Student Research Day should email Iva Pendleton in the Department of Bioscience Research at or call her at 901-448-6167. To register to present, you will need the title of your presentation, the names of any authors, co-authors, and mentors.

In order to encourage participation in the event, classes and clinics have been cancelled for that afternoon. All students and faculty are required to attend the event.

Student Research Day, February 2011 5

Research Spotlight


Dr. Daranee Versluis – Tantbirojn, D.D.S, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry. She joined the UTHSC dental faculty in 2010 from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and she brought with her an extensive background in research. Here at UTHSC, she has been focused on conducting projects on tooth erosion caused by acid reflux. Below is an overview of her latest research. Research in Dental Erosion and Acid Reflux – Laboratory and Clinical Approaches

Figure 1.

The oral cavity is a gateway to the gastrointestinal tract and vice versa. The acidic stomach content refluxed into the oral cavity can dissolve tooth structures and ultimately cause erosive tooth wear. Dr. Daranee Versluis-Tantbirojn The following research studies of dental erosion, one clinical and one laboratory, showed the alarming rate of progress in some patients and proposed potential preventive treatments that should benefit individuals with tooth erosion.

The clinical study was conducted at the University of Minnesota, and was presented at the 2011 IADR in San Diego. It is accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Dental Association. (Tantbirojn D, Pintado MR, Versluis A, Dunn C, DeLong R. Quantified Tooth Surface Loss Associated with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. IADR General Session: Abstract 729; and Tantbirojn D, Pintado MR, Versluis A, Dunn C, DeLong R. Quantitative analysis of tooth surface loss associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease – A longitudinal clinical study. JADA, 2011, accepted for publication). The aim of this clinical study was to measure erosive tooth wear associate with gastroesophageal disease (GERD). Fourteen subjects with GERD and six healthy individuals were recruited. Vinyl polysiloxane impressions were taken at baseline and six month visits. Dental stone replicas from the impressions were digitized with an optical scanner. The image on the right (Figure 2) shows erosive loss in the incisal groove of an upper central incisor in a GERD subjects in the range of 20-40 microns (green) or up to 60 microns (yellow). The erosion progress after six months in this particular subject was more extensive than the others. For the whole group, tooth surface loss in GERD subjects was significantly greater than the control. The erosive tooth wear on occlusal surfaces was accelerated in combination with attrition.

Figure 2. Patients with acid regurgitation tend to brush their teeth after the reflux episode, which leads to more erosive tooth wear because the initial manifestation of erosion is enamel softening. A laboratory study was carried out to compare preventive treatments that have the potential to enhance the rehardening effect of saliva on enamel softened by acid. This study “Investigation of Treatments to Improve Hardness Recovery of Enamel Softened by Acid Reflux” is supported in part by an Alumni Clinical Research Grant (PI: Daranee Versluis-Tantbirojn; Co-Investigators: Mojdeh Dehghan, Antheunis Versluis) and the UT College of Dentistry Student Summer Research Fellowship (Student Researcher: Peter J. Stanley). The abstract from this study will be presented at the 2012 AADR in Tampa (Dehghan M, Stanley P, Tantbirojn D, Versluis A. Investigation of Treatments to Improve Hardness Recovery of Softened Enamel. AADR General Session 2012). In this laboratory study, hydrochloric acid (pH 2.5, 10 minutes) was used to simulate stomach reflux. The softening of tooth enamel from acid erosion was assessed with Vickers surface hardness. The softened teeth underwent treatment with the following products: 0.05% sodium fluoride mouthrinse (ACT), 0.4% stannous fluoride gel (Gel-Kam), casein phosphopeptide amorphous 6

calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) (MI-paste), and fluoridated CPP-ACP paste (MI-plus). Deionized water was used as the control. Following treatment, teeth were bathed in human saliva (IRB #10-01122-XM) for one hour before the final hardness reading.

Vickers hardness of the enamel dropped after the acid challenge and rehardened after the preventive treatments and 1-hour after saliva emersion (Graph 1). The hardness recovery was insignificant in the control group, of which the softened enamel was immersed in saliva without any treatment. Statistical analysis (ANOVA/SNK, p=0.05) showed significant increase in hardness in the groups treated with MI-paste and MI-plus. The treatment that incorporated both fluoride and calcium phosphate (MI-plus) was the most effective in recovering enamel hardness to the level that was not significantly different from the baseline value.

Tooth erosion affects a large number of the population and restoration of extensive erosion cases is complicated and costly. Erosive tooth wear from stomach acid may involve general health issues that are chronic or at the result of psychological conditions that patients may not want to disclose. Preventive treatments will benefit patients with tooth erosion, not only from stomach acid, but also from extrinsic origins such as acidic food and drinks.

Graph 1.

To learn more about Dr. Versluis-Tanbirojn’s research here at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, please contact her by email at or by phone at (901) 448-2211.

Mark Your


QUARTERLY RESEARCH SEMINAR – SPONSORED BY THE AADR MEMPHIS CHAPTER “From Piracicaba to Memphis: An Experience of a Research Visiting Faculty” By: Professor Lourenço Correr Sobrinho Thursday, January 26th 12:00-1:00 pm Student Lounge

AADR ANNUAL MEETING – MARCH 21-24, 2012 IN TAMPA, FL Early registration ends February 3rd ALUMNI ENDOWMENT FOR RESEARCH GRANT DEADLINE Friday, April 27th at 5:00 pm CST 7

Clinical Research

The following is a list of current clinical research studies being conducted by UT College of Dentistry faculty. The title, investigators, and study objective are listed for each project. A comparison of the effects of occlusal adjustment and splint therapy on symptoms reduction in TMD Study Objective: The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of occlusal adjustment and splint therapy on the therapeutic management of temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). Principal Investigator: Co-Investigators:

Dr. Swati Ahuja

Dr. David Cagna

Dr. William McHorris

Effects of Non-Thermal Plasma Treatment on Composite Restoration and Caries Prevention Study Objective:



To test the ability of a new miniature plasma brush to be used in dental clinical applications to prevent tooth decay and improve the quality of dental restorations.

Dr. Liang Hong

Dr. Zhousheng Xiao (Department of Nephrology)

Fluoride varnish application for treatment of white spot lesion after fixed orthodontic treatment. A pilot study. Study Objective:

To determine the effectiveness of fluoride varnish in treating white spot lesions as compared to fluoride gel.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Franklin Garcia-Godoy Research Staff:

Dr. Terry Trojan

Floyd Trammell (D-4 Student)

Laurie Johnson (Study Manager)

Kimberly DeMonaco (Dental Hygienist)

Influence of Maternal Factors on Caries Development during Early Childhood. A Pilot Study (Ancillary to the CANDLE Study) Study Objective:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of maternal factors on the development of dental cavities among 3-year-old children.


Dr. Frances Tylavsky (Department of Preventive Medicine – CANDLE Study)

Principal Investigators: Dr. Liang Hong and Dr. Franklin Garcia-Godoy

Research Staff:

Dr. Martha Wells

Dr. Elizabeth Webb (Pediatric Dentistry Resident)

Laurie Johnson (Study Manager)

Kimberly DeMonaco (Dental Hygienist)

Colette Stewart (Dental Hygienist) 8

Publications Presentations

The following is a list of publications by College of Dentistry faculty from October 2011 to present, and recent as well as upcoming presentations.


Murray PE, Garcia-Godoy F. “Stem Cells and Regeneration of the Pulp0dentin Complex.” In: Seltzer and Bender, eds. Dental Pulp, 2nd ed. 2012. Quintessence Publishing, Hanover Park, IL.

Reddy S, Neelakantan P, Saghiri MA, Lotfi M, Ramesh S, Subbarao CV, Garcia-Godoy F, Gutmann JL. Removal of gutta-percha/zinc oxide-eugenol sealer or guttapercha/epoxy resin sealer from severly curved canals – an in vitro study. Intl J Dent. 2011. Piemjai M, Waleepitackdej O, Garcia-Godoy F, Nakabayashi N. Dentin protection by a primer-less adhesive technique. Am J Dent. 2011 Oct;24(5):284-8. Reddy S, Neelakantan P, Saghiri MA, Lotfi M, Ramesh S, Subbarao CV, Garcia-Godoy F, Gutmann JL. Removal of gutta-percha/zinc oxide-eugenol sealer or gutta-percha/epoxy resin sealer curved canals – an in vitro study. Intl J Dent. 2011 [in press}.

Cardoso-Silva E , Barberia E, Ramos Atances JA, Maroto M, Hernandez A, Garcia-Godoy F. Microbiological analysis of gingivitis in pediatric patients under orthodontic treatment. Euro J Paedia Dent. 2011;12(4). Ausiello P, Cassese A, Miele C, Bequinot F, Garcia-Godoy F, Jeso BD, Ulianich L. Cytotoxicity of dental resin composites: an in vitro evaluation. J Appl Toxicol. 2011 Nov 26 [Epub ahead of print]. Hollis W, Darnell LA, Hottel TL. Computer Assisted Learning: A New Paradigm in Dental Education. J Tenn Dent Assoc. 2011;91(4):14-18.

Ivanoff CS, Hottel TL, Garcia-Godoy F, Riga AT. Dielectrophoresis enhances the whitening effect of carbamide peroxide on enamel. Am J Dent. 2011 Oct;24(5):259-63.

Ivanoff CS, Ivanoff AE, Hottel TL. Gallium poisoning: a rare case report. Food and Chemic Toxicology. 2012;50:212-215.

Ivanoff CS, Hottel TL, Tantbirojn D, Versluis A, Garcia-Godoy F. Dielectrophoretic transport of fluoride into enamel. Am J Dent. 2011;24:341-345. Lewis MW, Wasson W, Scarbecz M, Aubertine MA, Woods M, Coleman W, Himel VT, Gravely-Griffin T. Tennessee Smiles: The UT Grassroots Oral Health Outcome Initiative. J Tenn Dent Assoc. 2011;91(4):20-9;quiz 30-1. Rawal S, Dabbous M, Tipton D. Effect of cannabidiol on human gingival fibroblast extracellular matrix metabolism: MMP production and activity, and production of fibronectin and transforming growth factors β. J Periodont Res. 2011; in press. Scarbecz M, Redmond DC. Dental Practice: Get in the Game [book review]. J Dent Educ. 2011;75:1516-1517.

Campodonico CE, Tantbirojn D, Olin PS, Versluis A. Cuspal deflection and depth of cure in resin-based composite restorations filled by using bulk, incremental and transtooth-illumination techniques. J Am Dent Assoc. 2011 Oct;142(10):1176-82.

Parco TM, Tantbirojn D, Versluis A, Beiraghi S. Microleakage of Self-etching Sealant on Noncontaminated and Salivacontaminated Enamel. Ped Dent, 2011;33(7):479-483(5).

Alsaffer A, Tanbirojn D, Versluis A, Beiraghi S. Protective Effect of Pit and Fissure Sealants on Demineralization of Adjacent Enamel. Ped Dent, 2011;33(7):491-495(5). 9

Grants Sponsorships

The following is a list of current grants/sponsorships held by UT College of Dentistry faculty.


Influence of cranberry juice components on denture related stomatitis and Inflammatory reactions of gingival fibroblasts o PI: Jegdish Babu, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. (Bioscience Research) o Co-PI: David Tipton, D.D.S., Ph.D. (Bioscience Research) o Cranberry Institute of Wisconsin (Private Grant) o $40,200

Biocompatibility screening of restorative treatments o PI: Franklin Garcia-Godoy, D.D.S., M.S. (Bioscience Research) o NIH High Priority, Short-Term Project Award (R56) o Amount: $135,000

Hinman Student Research Symposium o PI: Franklin Garcia-Godoy, D.D.S., M.S. (Bioscience Research) o NIH/NIDCR (R13) o Amount: $20,000

Development of miniature plasma brush for dental clinical applications o Co-I: Liang Hong, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D. (PDCH/Director of Community Oral Health) o NIH/NIDCR (R44 SBIR Phase II) o $364,019


Visualization of sealer movement during single-cone obturation with EndoSequence BC Sealer o PI: Adam Lloyd, B.D.S., M.S. (Endodontics) o Real World Endodontics/Brasseler USA

Fluoride varnish application for treatment of white spot lesion after fixed orthodontic treatment. A pilot study o PIs: Franklin Garcia-Godoy, D.D.S. M.S. (Bioscience Research), Terry Trojan, D.D.S., M.S. (Orthodontics) o 3M ESPE


ABOUT the COLLEGE of DENTISTRY The UTHSC College of Dentistry was founded in 1878 making it the oldest dental college in the South, and the third oldest public college of dentistry in the United States.

The College contains a 4-year dental program, totaling approximately 320 students. In addition, students in the Postgraduate dental programs and Dental Hygiene are included.

The College is dedicated to providing professional, graduate, and postgraduate education; conducting dental research; and, delivering state-of-the-art patient care and public service.

College of Dentistry 875 Union Avenue Memphis, TN 38163 Phone: (901) 448-6200 Fax: (901) 448-1625


The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services.


Dental Research 2(2) - Winter 2012  

The Winter 2012 issues of the quarterly Dental Research Newsletter from the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee.