Research & Publications

Current Research

Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine is committed to the advancement of the orthodontic specialty through cutting edge research that involves collaborations with researchers and institutions from around the world.  Each one of our residents is responsible for a research project and assigned a research mentor. The research projects cover a wide variety of areas ranging from basic science and epidemiology to clinical and translational research. All aim to improve the quality of care provided to orthodontic patients and enhance their orthodontic experience and quality of life.

Below are some of the areas of research our department is currently working on:

Three dimensional Cone Beam Imaging: We currently have several research projects utilizing cone beam three dimensional imaging to establish normative values and accurately measure changes that occur during normal growth.  We also have projects that three dimensionally measure changes to the teeth and jaws that occur as a result of pathology and treatment.

Surgical Orthodontic Outcomes: Many orthodontic problem cannot be treated to an ideal result without orthognathic surgery.  Our department is conducting research that evalutes the orthodontic outcomes of these procedures as well as their effects on the quality of life of our patients.

Salivary Diagnostics: Saliva is unique in that it provides a simple, easily accessable, noninvasive window to the human body.  It allows easy measurement of many horomones, cytokines, and growth factors.  The department has recently started several projects that study the use of saliva to predict the amount of growth a patient will experience, a patient’s response to treatment, and how susceptable a patient is to certain pathological conditions.

Three dimensional nonradiation based imaging: Orthodontic diagnosis normally involves radiation exposures dedicated to that purpose.  Our department is currently working on a project that explores the ability to accurately diagnose and treatment plan orthodontic problems using three dimensional imaging techniques that do not use ionizing radiation.

Stability of orthodontic movements: Orthodontic treatment requires a great deal of time and effort and has a huge impact on a persons life and self esteem.  However, the jaw and teeth undergo changes throughout a persons life which often make maintaining the achieved result very challenging.  Several research projects being conducted focus on the stability of different procedure to allow the orthodontist to choose the best approach for correcting an orthodontic problem.

Basic Science Research: Many current orthodontic and orthopedic procedures depend on the ability of skeletal tissues to respond to mechanical stress. Furthermore, cellular alterations that result from stress are major contributors to pathological conditions such as craniosynostosis, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, the molecular mechanisms that modulate bone remodeling and formation in response to mechanical stress remain unclear. Oure current basic science research aims to elucidate the molecular basis of skeletal tissues sensing and responding to mechanical stress to ultimately improve strategies for treating skeletal diseases, injuries and malocclusion.

Recent Publications

Keser EI, Dibart S.  Piezocision assisted Invisalign treatment.  Compend Contin Educ Dent 2011;  32(2): 46-51.

Ball R, Arai K, Will LA, Miner RM.  Comparison of the dental and basal arch forms in Class I and Class II patients. Am J Orthod Dentofac Orthop 2010; 138:41-50.

Gupta D, Miner RM, Arai K, Will LA.  A Comparison of the Mandibular Dental and Basal Arch Forms in Class I and Class II Malocclusion Adults and Children.  Am J Orthod Dentofac Orthop 2010; 138:10.e1-8.

Arai K, Will LA.  Subjective classification and objective analysis of the mandibular dental arch form of orthodontic patients.  Am J Orthod Dentofac Orthop 2011; 139:e315-321.

Will, LA.  “Psychological Aspects of Orthodontics” in Orthodontics: Current Principles and Techniques, Graber LW, Vanarsdall RL, Vig KWL, eds.  Philadelphia, Elsevier Mosby, 2011.

Rigali PH, Neace WP, Uribe F, Nanda R. Skeletal and dental asymmetries in Class II subdivision malocclusions using cone-beam computed tomography. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2010 Nov;138(5):542.e1-20; discussion 542-3.

Sanders DA, Baloul SS, Gerstenfeld LC, Morgan EF, Carvalho RS, Van Dyke TE, Kantarci A. Mechanism of action and morphologic changes in the alveolar bone in response to selective alveolar decortication-facilitated tooth movement. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2011 Apr;139(4 Suppl):S83-101.

Masoud MI, Marghalani HY, Masoud IM, Gowharji NF. A Prospective Longitudinal Evaluation of Changes in Mandibular Length and Their Relationship with Blood-Spot IGF-I Measurements and Cervical Stages. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Accepted, In press (2012).