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]

Evaluating the performance of a new FDA-approved dental adhesive (bond) in tooth-colored fillings sponsored by 3M.

PI: Dr. Jorge Perdigao

Sponsor: 3M Company

The investigational device in this research study is Scotchbond™ Universal Plus (SBU+) Adhesive, which is manufactured by 3M. The intended purpose of SBU+ Adhesive is to be used as a bond-promoting substance between the tooth and dental restorations. It may also be used as a dentin sealant and as a bonding agent for repair of restorations. The comparator product (i.e., Control product) for the investigational device will be Scotchbond™ Universal (SBU) Adhesive, which is also manufactured by 3M.

The purpose of this research study is to compare SBU+ Adhesive with its predicate device (SBU Adhesive) in relation to functional aspects of the restorations. The follow-up period of 6, 12, and 24 months is based on previous 2-year studies of other composite resin adhesives showing differences in retention, fracture, and marginal adaptation scores.

Timeline: Patients will first be screened at the dental school by the study dentist to look at teeth requiring dental fillings. Qualifying patients will attend five (5) appointments at the University of Minnesota (UMN) School of Dentistry (SOD) over 24 months. First visit will include an in-person screening to make sure they meet eligibility requirements. Once screened, participants will be scheduled for an appointment to place two composite (tooth colored) fillings using the 3M dental adhesives with three (3) additional follow-up visits after the fillings are placed at 6, 12, and 24 months to record data on each tooth.

Compensation: A total of $300 will be paid in the form of a debit card; $50 after the filling appointment, $50 at 6-months, $100 at 12-months, and $100 at 24-months. In addition, up to $12 of parking will be  validated at the Washington Avenue Ramp on campus at the end of each appointment.

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Between the ages of 18 and 70 years old at time of consent
  2. Needs at least two direct composite restorations for posterior Class I or Class II carious lesions in vital teeth that are asymptomatic and with minimal mobility (< 1 mm in the buccolingual direction) 
  3. Study teeth have a minimum buccolingual diameter of the occlusal surface that is at least 1/3 of the distance between the buccal and lingual cusps
  4. Teeth selected for Class II restorations need to have an adjacent tooth in a position that will allow for a contact relationship to be established
  5. Needs to read and understand the English language without assistance
  6. Available for all scheduled study visits for the duration of 24 months
  7. Good general health (i.e., meets ASA Level I or ASA Level II classification criteria)
  8. The selected teeth need to have occlusal contact with an antagonistic natural tooth
  9. Has existing radiographic images of the study teeth of current and acceptable diagnostic quality obtained within the previous 12 months (i.e., needs to be a patient of record at the UMN SOD)

Exclusion Criteria:
Preoperative exclusion criteria include the following:

  1. Has a history of adverse reaction to any materials used in this study
  2. Is pregnant or breast feeding at the time of screening
  3. Fewer than 20 teeth
  4. Is taking part in or planned to be enrolled in an evaluation of other restorative materials at any time during the study
  5. Advanced periodontal disease (i.e., Grace & Smales Mobility Index grade ≥ 2) that involve the study teeth
  6. Orthodontic appliance treatment within the previous 3 months
  7. Pronounced enamel wear facets, indicting severe, on-going bruxism
  8. Severe xerostomia
  9. The study tooth has a history of or existing, prolonged tooth hypersensitivity
  10. The study tooth is an abutment for fixed or removable prostheses
  11. The study tooth has a fracture or is visibly cracked such that it may impact the longevity of the tooth
  12. The carious lesion is stage RC5 or RC6 of the ICDAS radiographic scoring system
  13. Unable to understand study procedures or provide consent in English
  14. Is an employee or student of the study investigator(s)

Intraoperative exclusion criteria include the following:

  1. Pulp exposure of either study tooth during restoration procedure

Do you have a patient who qualifies? Contact Kelli Trauger at [email protected]