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Professor Nicola West

Evaluation of oral healthcare products, soft and hard tissue regeneration and implantology

The Clinical Trials Unit is in the international arena of research with regards to toothwear (erosion, attrition, abrasion and abfraction), tooth bleaching, tooth staining, dentine hypersensitivity, prevention of plaque and gingivitis and treatment of diseases of the periodontium, and soft and hard tissue regeneration in periodontology and implantology . The studies are carried out both within the Clinical Trials Unit at the Bristol Dental School in dedicated laboratories and clinical environment, and in General Dental Practice in the UK. Studies are often initially conducted in vitro before moving into in situ and in vivo models. The research group has developed an ethically approved in situ model using human teeth to assess, in particular, the erosive properties of acidic soft drinks, the abrasive and erosive effects of oral healthcare products and their synergistic effect with each other, in order to help manage clinical toothwear which is the fourth most common condition in dentistry after caries, periodontal disease and trauma. Further these models allow occlusion of dentine tubules to be assessed in order to reduce the pain of dentine hypersensitivity experienced by at least 15% of the population worldwide. Other areas of active research involve studies into bioglasses, dental implants, bone regenerative materials and pain reduction when performing oral local anaesthesia.

The majority of the research is supported by international industrial funding from the UK, Europe, Switzerland and the US as well as external grants such as EU monies.

Research keywords

  • Dentine Hypersensitivity
  • tooth wear
  • tooth staining and bleaching
  • soft and hard tissue regeneration and implantology