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Research activities

Introduction  |  Research Mandate  |  Current Studies  |  Future Studies



The mouth is the window to general health, making dentistry play a strategic role in the improvement of health for children at SickKids.  

The Department of Dentistry at SickKids is the largest paediatric dental department in Canada, and involves two divisions - Paediatric Dentistry (including oral and maxillofacial surgery and prosthodontics) and Orthodontics.



Research within the Department of Dentistry has focused on the areas of dental trauma, primary pulp therapy and multidisciplinary interventions in cleft lip and palate and craniofacial patients.

The focus of dental trauma research has been the injured healthy child and adolescent. A prospective dental trauma database allowed for translational research that led to the development of evidence-based, treatment protocols for the management of dentoalveolar trauma. Furthermore, the initially controversial outcomes of these investigations have widely been accepted in the therapeutic guidelines of professional dental organizations around the world.

The outcomes of Dentistry’s investigations in dental trauma and pulp therapy have been important contributions to the dental profession’s treatment of healthy children in the community setting. However, oral health is intrinsically linked to systemic health of the medically complex children treated at SickKids. Thus, integrated research between Dentistry and healthcare partners at SickKids is strategic for improvement of healthcare in children within the hospital, provincially, nationally and internationally. A strategic research plan was developed with the goal of improving outcomes for children with medical comorbidities through clinically focused investigations.

Current strategic areas of research include:

1. Craniofacial Anomalies
2. Bone Health
3. Cardiology
4. Oncology



Temporal Changes in Serum Bone Turnover Marker Values in Children Receiving Pamidronate
Objective: To assess the values of biochemical markers of bone turnover in children receiving pamidronate therapy at SickKids in in order determine timing of dental treatment after the initiation of Bisphosphonate  therapy

Variation in sedation practices for treatment of pediatric dental patients
Objective: To compare current treatment sedation practices amongst Canadian Pediatric Dentists, Dental Anesthesiologists, and Pediatric Emergency Physicians

Effects of CPAP on Facial Growth
Objective: To determine if children on CPAP for sleep apnea have a higher incidence of craniofacial anomalies compared to healthy controls

Trends in dental general anesthetic (GA) case complexity and its impact on perioperative services
Objective: To determine how changes in the case complexity of children treated under dental GA at SickKids have impacted patient needs for day surgery over the past 10 years



Low Light Laser Therapy (LLLT) in treatment of Oral Mucositis (OM) in children receiving treatment for cancer

    • OM develops in 20-40% of patients receiving conventional chemotherapy and 60-85% of patient undergoing Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT1)
    • LLLT appears to reduce the incidence of OM in patients undergoing HSCT by over 50%
    • Future research should focus on identifying optimal characteristics of LLLT and feasibility in clinical setting

Parental dental health knowledge and attitudes in a population of patients with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD)

    • A large number of carious lesions and oral infections are identified immediately prior to planned cardiac surgery. Children scheduled for surgical correction of their CHD are likely to require an additional general anesthetic as a means to provide dental treatment
    • We propose to interview a group of parents of patients with CHD versus a group of patients with no underlying chronic health conditions, to examine similarities and differences in their knowledge and attitudes, and the challenges that they face in maintaining the oral health of their child.

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