School of Dentistry Wins $1.84 Million NIH Grant

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded UMKC School of Dentistry a five-year grant totaling $1.84 million to develop the next generation of longer-lasting materials for restorative dentistry.

Current dental bonding — at the average cost of $450 per tooth — doesn’t last as long as it should because it eventually breaks down, causing sensitivity, cavities and the need for repair. Studies—including at the UMKC School of Dentistry—have shown this is caused by ineffective bonding between resin and collagen, poor-quality resin and the degradation of collagen fibers.

“We will develop novel materials for robust, durable bonding to address all of the issues,” said Yong Wang, PhD, professor of oral and craniofacial sciences, who is the principal investigator on the grant.

“The approach is innovative since it represents the first systematic design with rationally engineered chemistry to simultaneously tackle all three critical challenges afflicting current bonding systems.”

Wang and the UMKC School of Dentistry are internationally recognized for applying new technologies in dentistry.

“With this grant award, Dr. Wang and his colleagues will be able to continue exploring innovative solutions to some of the practical challenges of clinical restorative dentistry,” said Marsha Pyle, dean of the UMKC School of Dentistry. “I congratulate him on his important work and this award.”

Zhonghua Peng, PhD, curator’s distinguished professor of chemistry, and Mary P. Walker (Pros ’99, PhD ’01), associate dean for research and graduate programs of dentistry, are co-investigators on this five-year grant.