The British Endodontic Society (BES) recently invited proposals from UK-based applicants wishing to undertake immediate research to address the impacts of Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) in dentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Society had an excellent response and has subsequently increased its funding by more than 100%, awarding it to three separate research groups.
“We are delighted to have received such great feedback to our research call having received many, high quality, fundable submissions” said Dr Phil Tomson, Chair of the BES Research Committee.
“Due to the unique circumstances and potential tangible outcomes we have taken the decision to award three grants that offer different qualities. These will provide robust reassurance around the safety of carrying out AGPs with conventional mitigating factors whilst investigating new opportunities to improve things further.”
“The research committee and judging panel felt that there was urgent need for this research and took the longer term view to combine our 2020 and 2021 research funding allocation. COVID-19 is having far-reaching effects so we are keen to invest to improve things for our members and the dental sector. The projects have tight timelines so we hope that the outcome of the work has a significant effect on clinical practice as we navigate through these challenging times.”
The BES has allocated an £85,000 grant between three research groups:
Project 1 – “Quantifying dental aerosol generation and its mitigation in a generalisable way through visualisation and numerical modelling”
Jointly led by Professor Owen Addison, Chair of Oral Rehabilitation/Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and Dr Shanon Patel, Consultant in Endodontics Dental Directorate, Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust. Kings College London.
Co-investigator Professor Yannis Hardalupas, Imperial College London, Mechanical Engineering Department
Project 2 – “Dental aerosol generating procedures: assessment of risk and mitigation strategies”
Applicant: Mr James Allison, Clinical Fellow in Oral Surgery, School of Dental Sciences, Newcastle University
Co-Investigators at School of Dental Sciences, Newcastle University: Dr Richard Holliday; NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry; Miss Charlotte Currie; NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow; Mr David Edwards; NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow, Honorary Specialty Registrar in Endodontics; Dr Nicholas Jakubovics; Senior Lecturer; Dr Christopher Nile; Senior Lecturer in Translational Oral Biosciences; Dr Nadia Rostami; Research Associate; Professor Justin Durham; Head of School, Professor of Orofacial Pain, Honorary Consultant Oral Surgeon
Mrs Charlotte Bowes; Clinical Fellow in Restorative Dentistry
Project 3 – “An investigation into aerosol production during endodontic procedures and its potential mitigation; a simulation study with bioaerosols”
Applicant: Professor Brian Nattress, Clinical Professor/Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, Leeds Dental School and Hospital.
Co-Supervisor: Professor David Wood, Director of Research and Innovation, School of Dentistry, University of Leeds.
Co-Investigators: Dr Louise Fletcher, Lecturer in Waste Management, Aerobiology and Environmental Microbiology, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds; Professor Deirdre Devine, Professor of Oral Microbiology, School of Dentistry, University of Leeds; Mr Peter Nixon, Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, York District Hospital, York
“We are pleased to support this vital research” explained BES President, Sanjeev Bhanderi. “The quality and track records of the successful research groups and the standard of their research proposals will go a long way in bringing much-needed clarity and a robust evidence base for dentistry that has been lacking since the return to clinical practice. If at any time we were going to call upon the BES research fund for our members, this was the time to do it.”