Research partnerships

Delta Dental Institute funds new oral health research from leading academic institutions

The Delta Dental Institute is funding three new research awards to leading health research institutions: the Havard School of Dental Medicine, the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, and the University of Iowa. This funding is part of the Delta Dental Institute's continued efforts to invest in research that leads to actionable solutions for improved oral and overall health. 

Harvard School of Dental Medicine

Lead researcher Sung Eun Choi, SM, Ph.D., will evaluate the feasibility of policies to reduce disparities in oral health.''


About the research

The study aims to conduct an economic evaluation of health care workforce-related policies that have promise for advancing access to care and thereby, oral health among vulnerable populations. Dr. Choi will develop a cost-effectiveness-based framework to estimate the impact of policies related to expanding National Health Service Corps loan repayment and scholarship programs on oral health care utilization and outcomes in underserved areas.


Findings pending


University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine

Lead researcher Tamanna Tiwari, MPH, MDS, BDS, will conduct a critical review of the success and barriers in dental-medical collaboration models to inform future dental-medical collaboration strategies.


About the research

This research focuses on the relationship between overall health and oral health. Dr. Tiwari will evaluate patient-care delivery models that have integrated medical and dental care in a single model of care over the past 10 years. This project will assess the successes and barriers in using these types of care delivery models.



White paper: Medical-dental integration models: A critical review of the last decade 

Executive summary

University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics

Lead researcher Leonardo Marchini, DDS, MSD, Ph.D., will assess the use of a mobile application (app) to improve oral health literacy and care provisions among caregivers of older adults.


About the research

Older adults, especially those in nursing homes, often lack access to high-quality dental care and rely on nurses and other caregivers to brush and care for their teeth. Many of these caregivers feel unequipped to help older adults care for their oral health. Dr. Marchini’s research will explore the use of a mobile app, GeriaDental, as a tool to inform and teach care providers how to help older adults with their oral health.


Findings pending

AADOCR Delta Dental Oral Health Equity Research Award

The American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) and the Delta Dental Institute (DDI) “Oral Health Equity Award” supports research that advances recommendations for greater oral health equity in populations that lack access to dental care and improves oral health literacy for underserved populations.

Two awards will be conferred: one in each research area in the amount $25,000.

Submissions must represent original research that addresses Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) and oral health disparities and promote oral health equity in the areas of Access to Care and Oral Health Literacy. Populations of interest include underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, age groups and hard to reach populations, including adolescents, tribal and rural communities.

Award prize

Two awards will be conferred: one in each research area in the amount $25,000


Key dates

Applications open:

Jul 11, 2022

Applications closed:

Oct 28, 2022



  • All candidates must be a member of, or at the time of submission, made a bona fide application to the AADOCR.
  • Candidates must hold a DDS/DMD and/or Ph.D.; or equivalent advanced degree.
Apply now