Research Center

Oral Health Clinical Research Center

The mission of the Oral Health Clinical Research Center (OHCRC) is to enhance oral health by transferring basic and applied research knowledge and new technical advances into patient-oriented research. This would enhance the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases.

To make an appointment, or to receive more information about our research studies, please see the studies below.

Current studies in need of participants

The School of Dentistry is currently recruiting individuals to participate in several ongoing studies. We welcome interested individuals to contact the study coordinator listed with each of the below studies if you would like to know more about these studies and learn what you would be asked to do. All studies have been reviewed and approved by the University of Minnesota’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).  

A study for individuals who suffer with chronic TMJ/ Jaw Pain that significantly interferes with their daily activities?

A study for individuals who suffer with chronic TMJ/ Jaw Pain that significantly interferes with their daily activities?

Study Title: Brain Mechanisms Underlying Endogenous Pain Modulation in Chronic TMJD

PI: Estephan Moana-Filho DDS, MS, PhD   Sponsor: NIH/NIDCR

This study is assessing if the brain of individuals with chronic jaw pain process touch and pain stimulation to their gums, face and hands differently than individuals with no jaw pain. 


Visit 1: Questionnaire and exam (90 minutes)
School of Dentistry Research Clinic      

Visit 2: Questionnaires, exam, impressions of teeth and bite registration (180 minutes) 
School of Dentistry Research Clinic

Visit 3: Questionnaires, exam and MRI of the brain (120 minutes)
Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, Minneapolis Campus                 

Major Inclusion Criteria:

  • Females between the ages of 18 to 65 years old
  • Have chronic jaw pain present for ≥ 6 months and this pain interferes with daily activities

Major Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current pain medications that cannot be stopped 1 day prior to testing
  • Conditions/diseases associated with altered pain perception including neurological disorders, multiple sclerosis, trigeminal neuralgia, neoplasia, psychiatric disorders, diabetes, and neoplasm
  • Serious injury to hands that prevent testing them
  • Substance abuse
  • MRI contraindications including claustrophobia and pregnancy

Compensation:  $200.00 to be paid for completion of all 3 visits and voucher for parking.

How to get involved or to learn more? Contact:

Contact: Lauren Huffman,

A study for individuals in need of tooth-colored fillings - The Composite Study

A study for individuals in need of tooth-colored fillings - The Composite Study

Study Title: In vivo Assessment of the Tooth-Resin Composite Interface Using Optical Coherence Tomography or The Composite Study

PI: Dr. Hooi Pin Chew           Sponsor: UMN SOD Veden Grant

The purpose of the study is to compare two ways to prepare your tooth for a filling. But, it is hard to see the microscopic changes to a filling clinically. We want to look at your filling with a special tool to see how the edges of a filling change over 18 months. This tool will help us to evaluate the edges of you filling.

Timeline: Potential participants will first be screened at the dental school by the study investigator to look at the tooth requiring a filling. Qualifying University of Minnesota (UMN) dental school patients will attend four (4) appointments at the UMN School of Dentistry over 18 months. First visit will include an in-person screening to make sure they meet the study requirements. Once screened, participants will be scheduled for an appointment to place a biting surface composite (tooth colored) filling with two additional visits to monitor and record data about the filling. These follow-up visits will occur 6 and 18 months after the filling is placed.

Compensation: A total of $160 will be paid in the form of Target gift cards; $10 at in-person screening, $20 at procedure appointment, $50 at 6 months, and $80 at 18 months after the filling is placed. In addition, parking vouchers will be provided at the end of each appointment.

Inclusion Criteria:
Patient level:

  • 18 years or older
  • Good general health
  • Fair oral hygiene
  • At least 20 teeth in occlusion
  • Available for the duration of the study

Exclusion Criteria:
Patient level:

  • Signs of bruxism / teeth grinding

Interested participants contact Kelli Trauger at or 612-624-2231.