Institute of Dentistry - Barts and The London

Oral Bioengineering

The Centre's vision is aligned with that of the Institute as a whole and, as such, is to engage and support you as far as possible.

Equally, to foster a more conducive environment enabling world class research in developing and evaluating interventions to improve health, whilst simultaneously maintaining our focus on excellence in teaching.

The Centre will address the challenges of more closely supporting clinical academics to work with our material scientists to develop and identify both existing and new common research themes. This in turn, will encourage more transitional and inter-disciplinary research.

We remain extremely successful in this area, with multiple examples of existing success of transitional research but this offers a greater opportunity to all clinical academics and our NHS Consultant colleagues to engage with further.


Dental Physical Sciences

The Dental Physical Sciences unit pursues research into Biomaterials and Biophysics.

Biomaterials majors on the development of novel materials and techniques for the treatment of chronic dental diseases such as caries and periodontal disease with particular reference to minimally invasive dentistry.  This involves the development of materials which will act as carriers for the release of active species.  They are also associated with materials which act as vehicles for the release of ionic species by diffusion controlled processes.

The group’s history of X-ray microtomography (XMT or micro-CT) goes back to its inception by Jim Elliott in 1980.  The original goal then, as now, was to develop a means of quantifying and mapping biological mineral concentration in 3 dimensions.  With this as the primary objective, we have continued to develop specialized XMT scanners (known as MuCAT) with high contrast capabilities and good densitometric accuracy; thus differing somewhat from what is commercially available.  This has facilitated a wide range of research studies in dentistry, as well as studies of bone, various materials, ancient scrolls and movie film.

The MuCAT systems are set apart by their unique use of a technique called time-delay integration, whereby an X-ray CCD camera is read out whilst simultaneously moving through the X-ray shadow.  This, along with highly developed calibration methodology, produces high-quality images that are largely free from artefacts; albeit somewhat slower than conventional XMT scanners.

Paediatric Dentistry

The department is heavily engaged in teaching paediatric dentistry in didactic, laboratory and clinical setting to an average of 165 undergraduate dental students as part of their BDS degree over 5 years, and 24 dental hygiene/therapy students over 27 months.

We provide 3 year postgraduate training, leading to a DClinDent (Paed Dent) degree for those who aspire to become specialists.  For those who want to pursue a research career, we offer PhD programmes with supervision linked to the other departments both within the dental school and Queen Mary University of London.


Orthodontics is the dental specialty involved with the growth and developmental variations in the teeth, bones and the soft tissue of the face. It is also involved in the treatment of facial deformities in both children and adults.  As such, Orthodontics forms part of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery undergraduate curriculum, with teaching delivered in lecture, seminar and clinical chairside formats.

At the post-graduate level, we provide a unique 3-year integrated Doctorate in Clinical Dentistry in Orthodontics [DClin.Dent.] and Membership in Orthodontics [M.Orth] program. The training program has a strong clinical chairside program, with progressive training on multi-disciplinary clinics. Here at Queen Mary we also run a number of national training courses, which are both recognised for their teaching quality and recommended by many external training institutes, within London and across the UK, for their post-graduate students to attend.

There is also an established PhD training program, for those who wish to undertake training for an Academic career in Orthodontics.

Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dentistry is the study, diagnosis and integrated management of diseases of the teeth and their supporting structures and the rehabilitation of the dentition to functional and aesthetic requirements of the individual. Restorative dentistry encompasses the dental specialties of endodonticsperiodontics and prosthodontics and its foundation is based upon how these interact in cases requiring multifaceted care. 

Restorative Dentistry is taught in this university academically within the three single specialties and we offer within the centre a 3 year doctorate in Prosthodontics which includes removable dentures, fixed bridges and dental implants.  This course is designed to provide acceptable training for a specialist in Prosthodontics in the UK but international students will benefit from equivalence.  The prosthodontic research is based around survival of restorations and fit of restorations.

We offer a Masters in Endodontology as a part time course mainly for UK graduates.  This is one day a week for two years with an additional year to complete the research.


Within Orthodontics we continue to enhance our Academic and clinical training and profile.

We currently have 6 PhD students with research involvement across the Centre groupings and are delighted to report, all have met their various 9-, 18, & 30-month milestone assessments in a timely fashion, with the 1 completing submission within the target 4 years and awarded PhD [Dr A.A.H Taha; supervised Dr M. Patel & Dr P. Fleming].

At the DClinDent level, we completed our first 3-year exams, with a large cohort of 8 students to-date. They are awaiting ratification of their results, but appear happy with their external examiner, Professor Millett!

In terms of publications, we remain very active, with 20 articles accepted/published in peer- reviewed journals [2017/2018] and grant submissions to Specialist Society, Industrial and NIHR.

Dental Physical Sciences

Researchers in the Centre for Oral Bioengineering have published two more papers on fluoride releasing bioactive glasses and composites.

The first by Tomas Duminis, Saroash Shahid and Natalia Karpukhina in Dental Materials is a model for calculating the Refractive Index of Fluorine Containing Glasses. This enables us to match the refractive index of this type of glass to that of the resin in order to make translucent and aesthetic restorative fillings.

The second paper is by Natheer Aleesa, Ferranti Wong, Robert Hill and Ama Johal that looks at apatite formation and the potential remineralisation effect of orthodontic adhesives filled with fluoride containing bioactive glasses.  White spot lesion formation around orthodontic brackets  is a major clinical problem following orthodontic treatment. The photos below show two premolars immersed in acidic artificial saliva. The tooth with the conventional inert glass adhesive demineralises and goes white over its surface whilst the one bonded with the fluoride bioactive glass adhesive remains unaltered.

Staff and student testimonials for the Oral Bioengineering centre at Queen Mary Unversity of London.

DClinDent Orthodonics - Professor Ama Johal


DClinDent Orthodonics - Student Testimonial