The research focus of the department expanded when Dr. Jones, who became chair in 2002, brought with her several ongoing, VA-funded projects, detailed below. We plan to increase funded and nonfunded research over five years.To accomplish this goal, we will recruit full-time faculty capable of research and create an environment that nurtures the creative process.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • VA HSR&D IIR 98-161-1 Jones (PI). 4/01/99 to 9/30/02. $457,600. Variations in VA Dental Procedures. This retrospective study focuses on quantifying and explaining variation of two alternative dental treatments (root canal vs. tooth extraction) in 54,495 veterans who received outpatient dental care in 1998. Variation will be assessed across VA facilities, VISNs, and regions.
  • VA HSR&D DII99.206-1 Jones (PI). 10/01/00 to 9/30/02. $587,200. Periodontal Care and Glycemic Control in Diabetes. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of an aggressive program of periodontal screening and therapy in improving the level of glycemic control in poorly controlled diabetes. We will examine whether continued maintenance over a 12-month period provides sustained or further improvement in gylcemic control. We will measure the impact of this care on oral-specific and general health-related quality of life, and determine the costs of providing this screening and therapy.
  • Delta Dental Plans Association. Co-Principal Investigator. 2000–2001. $103,780. Developing a new brief measure of oral quality of life. This ongoing work originally took a comprehensive instrument (81 items) that measures the impact of care from a patient perspective. Using iterative analysis we identified 25 items that measured the patient’s assessment as well as the 81 items. We are now testing this 25-item questionnaire longitudinally to determine the five to seven items that are most responsive to improvements in dental care in different clinic settings, including the undergraduate clinics.