Sponsored research

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

The Delta Dental Institute is sponsoring 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.



Cost-effectiveness of Dental Workforce Expansion Through the National Health Service Corps and Its Association With Oral Health Outcomes Among US Children | JAMA Health Forum


University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine

Lead researcher Tamanna Tiwari, MPH, MDS, BDS, conducted a critical review of the success and barriers in medical-dental collaboration models to inform future medical-dental 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 Institute Oral Health Equity Research Award

The Delta Dental Institute and the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) are proud to name Astha Singhal, PhD, Boston University Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Health Services Research and the team of Cameron Randall, PhD, University of Washington Assistant Professor, Oral Health Sciences, and Tamanna Tiwari, BDS, MDS, MPH, University of Colorado Assistant Professor of Community Dentistry & Population Health, as the inaugural recipients of the Delta Dental Institute AADOCR Oral Health Equity Research Award.

The Oral Health Equity Research Award supports two research awards in the areas of advancing recommendations for greater oral health equity in populations that lack access to dental care and improving oral health literacy for underserved populations.

The awardees are:

  • Access & Equity Award – Dr. Singhal will conduct research centered on Medicaid adult dental benefits and racial/ethnic disparities in access to dental care among low-income women during pregnancy and postpartum periods.
  • Oral Health Literacy Award – Drs. Randall and Tiwari will pursue research identifying the relationships between acculturation, oral health literacy, and health behaviors in Hispanic parents.