NIDCR awards $1.2M grant to study dental treatment outcomes

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) has awarded a $1.2 million grant to the Regenstrief Institute and the >Indiana University School of Dentistry to study dental treatment outcomes.

The three-year grant will enable researchers to conduct an analysis of the electronic records of patients treated by community dentists to explore the feasibility of using this and other electronic dental data in clinical research.

Thousands of deidentified records from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network will be analyzed. Researchers are focusing on treatment outcomes for posterior composite restorations and root canal procedures.

"Better management and analysis of electronic dental record data are essential to improving the oral health of the public in the digital age," stated Regenstrief Institute investigator Thankam Thyvalikakath in a press release. "With this work, we and other researchers will gain a better understanding of what's going on at the dental offices where most Americans receive care.

One ongoing difficulty has been the ability to combine data from electronic dental record systems that have different formats and operating systems. Researchers will be investigating how to combine this data.

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