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School of Dental Medicine

Current Clinical Trials and Studies

What is Clinical Research?

Clinical research looks for better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose and understand human disease. Only through clinical research can we gain insights and answers about the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and medical devices, or new ways to use them. 

The volunteers who participate in clinical research make it possible for this to occur. A clinical trial may offer you or your family member experimental treatment for a disease. Many of our studies also involve healthy patients.  

TUSDM’s research efforts are directed towards promoting oral health and sharing our resources and ideas to improve the quality of life of the general population.

Click here for more information about Clinical Trials.

What are my rights as a research participant?

As a participant in a research study/clinical trial, you have the right:

  • To be told why the study is being conducted.
  • To be told who is funding the study.
  • To be given an explanation of what will happen during the study, what is expected of you, and what will be different from non-research medical treatment.
  • To be given an explanation of risks or discomforts that may be experienced from participating in the study.
  • To be given an explanation of any benefits that may be expected from participating in the study.
  • To be told, if treatment is part of the study, of other non-research treatment choices that are available and how they compare to participating in the study.
  • To be given the opportunity to ask questions about the study or participating in the study before agreeing to participate and during the course of the study.
  • To be told of your right to refuse to begin the study, or to change your mind and stop participating in the study after it has started.  Your participation is completely voluntary.  If treatment is part of the study, this decision will not affect your ability to receive non-research treatment.
  • To be told that you may refuse to answer any question.
  • To have enough time to decide whether or not to participate and to make that decision without any pressure from the people who are doing the research.
  • To be told, if treatment is part of the study, whether there are any costs to you associated with being in the study and whether you will receive any reimbursement for participating in the study.
  • To be told who will have access to information collected about you, how the information will be used, and how the confidentiality of your information will be protected.
  • To be told who to contact directly with questions about the research, about research related injury, and about your rights as a research participant.
  • To be told, if the research is greater than minimal risk, whether any compensation and medical treatments are available should you have a research related injury, what the treatments are, and where further information may be obtained.
  • To be told about new information learned during the study that might affect your safety or you willingness to continue to take part in the study.
  • To receive a copy of the consent form if one is part of the study.

Finding a Research Study

Our currently enrolling studies are listed below. If you don’t see a study you are interested in but would like to be contacted if we have a future study you may be eligible for, please complete our Research Volunteer Form.

Tooth Wear (Cervical Lesions) Study

We are seeking volunteers for a study comparing two materials used to repair wear, or cervical lesions, that may occur on your teeth over time. Both materials are approved by the FDA to be used to repair cervical lesions.

You may qualify to participate if you:

  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Have at least 2 teeth with cervical lesions in need of dental treatment
  • Are willing and able to have dental x-rays or photographs taken of your teeth
  • Are not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have a known allergy to numbing agents or tooth-colored filling materials

There are a total of 4 study visits over 18 months. Qualifying participants will receive the two fillings free of charge, and a total of $175 in Target gift cards if you complete all study visits. All study visits take place at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

If you think you may qualify, please contact Courtney Thurell at Courtney.Thurell@tufts.edu or 617-636-3865 for more information.

Periodontal Dental Research Study

Description: The Periodontology Department of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine is conducting research on the systemic immune response in subjects with and without periodontitis.

We are seeking volunteers who are between 40-70 years old and speak English and who have not received periodontal treatment in the past 3 months. Participants must be willing to attend 1-2 visits for this study (1 visit for patients without periodontitis and 2 visits for patients with periodontitis, 1 pre- and 1 post-treatment).

Subjects participating in the study will receive a $25 gift card to CVS after each completed study visit (1 visit for healthy volunteers, 2 visits for patients with periodontitis).

If you have any questions or if you think you may qualify to participate, please contact:

Dr. Evangelos Papathanasiou
Contact Phone:  (617) 636-3887
Evangelos.Papathanasiou@tufts.edu

Dental Cavities Research Study

We are seeking volunteers for a study comparing two different materials that are used to fill cavities.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have two back teeth with cavities in need of fillings
  • Must not have had treatment on those teeth in the past 12 months

If you qualify for the study, one of your teeth will be randomly selected to receive a filling with one material, and your other tooth will be randomly selected to receive a filling with a second material. Both materials are approved by the FDA to be used to fill cavities.

There are a total of 5 visits over a 2-year period. Qualifying participants will receive the two fillings free of charge, and a total of $245 in gift cards if you complete all study visits. All study visits take place at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

If you think you may qualify, please contact Courtney Thurell at Courtney.Thurell@tufts.edu or 617-636-3865 for more information.

Recession Study

Think you’ve got recession?

The Periodontology Department is conducting research regarding treatment for gum recession.

  • Are you over 18 years old?
  • Have you been told that you have gingival recessions?
  • 8 study visits; over an approximately 13 month period;
  • 50% of the surgical costs will be covered;
  • Upon completing the study, you will receive up to $60 in CVS gift cards as compensation.

If you have any questions or if you think you may qualify to participate, please contact:

Dr. Kai Chyuan Lei
(415) 683-6038
kai.lei@tufts.edu

Dentinal Hypersensitivity Study

We are seeking volunteers for a study on the efficacy of three cavity prevention products in helping to minimize dentinal hypersensitivity.

Participants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have at least one tooth with an exposed root surface and/or exposed dentin
  • Have no adjacent teeth with sensitivity

You may not participate in this study if:

  • You have any pain disorders
  • You have a chronic medical condition that requires the regular use of pain or anti-inflammatory medications
  • You have used a desensitizing dentifrice within the past four weeks
  • You have received an antihypersensitivity treatment (varnish or precipitating solution) within the past four weeks
  • You are undergoing active orthodontic treatment.
  • You are pregnant or lactating
  • You have a milk allergy
  • You are on kidney dialysis

Compensation for participating in the study is up to $100 in gift cards.

If you have any questions or if you think you may qualify to participate, please contact:

Dr. Britta Magnuson
617-636-3878
Britta.Magnuson@tufts.edu