Current Studies

All studies have been reviewed and approved by the University of Minnesota’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).

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Scaling and root planing (SRP) with and without monocycline spheres

PI: Michelle Arnett RDH, BS, MS

Sponsor: Bausch Health Co.

This randomized clinical trial is comparing scaling and root planning (SRP) with and without minocycline for treatment of periodontitis over a 6-month period. Saliva samples, gingival crevicular fluid (GCF), and blood serum will be collected at four time points (baseline, 1, 3, and 6 month follow up). Saliva will be analyzed for overall pathogen burden. GCF will be analyzed for IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α. Serum will be analyzed for inflammatory markers.

In Vivo Assessment of the Tooth-Resin Composite Interface Using Optical Coherence Tomography

PI: Dr. Hooi Pin Chew

Sponsor: UMN SOD Veden Grant

The purpose of the study is to compare two ways to prepare your tooth for a filling. But, it is hard to see the microscopic changes to a filling clinically. We want to look at your filling with a special tool to see how the edges of a filling change over 18 months. This tool will help us to evaluate the edges of you filling.


Potential participants will be screened at the dental school by the study investigator to look at the tooth requiring a filling. Qualifying University of Minnesota (UMN) dental school patients will attend three (3) appointments at the UMN School of Dentistry over 18 months. First visit will include placement of the filling with two additional visits to monitor and record data about the filling. These visits will occur 6 and 18 months after the filling is placed.


A total of $160 will be paid in the form of Target gift cards; $10 at the screening appointment, $20 at procedure appointment, $50 at 6 month follow-up, and $80 at 18 month follow-up after the filling is placed. In addition, parking vouchers will be provided at the end of each appointment.

Inclusion Criteria:

Patient level

  • 18 years or older
  • Good general health
  • Fair oral hygiene
  • At least 20 teeth in occlusion
  • Available for the duration of the study

Tooth level

  • Occlusal caries in permanent posterior tooth; can be primary or secondary caries
  • Bucco-lingual caries not to exceed two-thirds of the occlusal table
  • Presence of caries confirmed via clinical and/or radiographic assessment
  • Selected tooth must be able to be isolated with either rubber dam or other isolation technique during procedure
  • Selected tooth must have opposing antagonist
  • Selected tooth should be periodontally healthy

Exclusion Criteria:

Patient level

  • Signs of bruxism

Tooth level

  • Wisdom tooth
  • Present with irreversible pulpitis
  • Periodontally compromised
  • Lesion requires cuspal coverage

How to get involved:


Kelli Trauger at [email protected].

Brain Mechanisms Underlying Endogenous Pain Modulation in Chronic TMJD

PI: Estephan Moana-Filho DDS, MS, PhD

Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR

The overall goal of this study is to determine brain mechanisms of endogenous pain modulation in chronic TMD pain patients and matched controls using comprehensive phenotyping of clinical and psychosocial characteristics, somatosensory function testing using validated protocol, and multimodal MRI neuroimaging.

Timeline: After a phone screening to identify qualifying individuals the participants will visit the School of Dentistry on three separate occasions. The visits include a comprehensive clinical TMJ examination, sensory/pain testing using touch, pressure, and hot/cold, and a final visit will include a brain MRI scan along with the completion of several questionnaires.

Major Inclusion Criteria:

  • Female between the ages of 18 and 65 years old
  • Must be diagnosed with chronic TMD pain

Major Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current pain medication used that cannot be stopped at least 1 day prior to testing
  • Conditions/diseases that alter pain perception
  • Substance abuse
  • Conditions not allowing the use of an MRI such as claustrophobia or pregnancy
  • Non-English speakers

Compensation: $200.00 to be paid for completion of 3 clinical visits and voucher for parking.

How to get involved?

Contact: Lauren Huffman, [email protected]