Courses PhD Program in Dentistry

Research Areas

Areas of Specialization

Diagnosis of periodontal infections.
Objectives: To define etiological agents that are the basis of various forms of periodontal disease. To relate the clinical parameters of periodontal disease to the microbial profile of individuals. To facilitate the development of periodontal therapies.

Periodontics and systemic conditions.
Objectives: To evaluate the influence of systemic changes on the clinical, micro-, and immunological periodontal profile of individuals. Conversely, to evaluate the impact of periodontal diseases on the course of systemic diseases. To define possible risk groups and establish forms of diagnosis and treatment.

Periodontal therapies.
Objectives: To define the applications and limitations of various periodontal therapies with the use of clinical, microbiological, and immunological studies. To help establish definitive and more specific forms of treatment.

Restorative Dentistry
Biomaterials associated with restorative and esthetic techniques.
Objective: To evaluate the physical and mechanical properties of different dental biomaterials through clinical and laboratory studies. To compare the methods currently available for testing biomaterials.

Diagnosis and peri-implant therapy.
Objective: To evaluate local and systemic factors that influence the osseointegration process and the longevity of implant-supported restorations. To define risk factors and alternative therapies for the prevention and treatment of peri-implant disease.

Biomaterials applied to implantology.
Objective: To evaluate the physical, chemical, and biological properties of various biomaterials related to implantology and guided bone regeneration.

Research Groups

Research Group in Periodontics
The organizer of this research group, Professor Magda Feres, completed her doctoral studies when enrolled in the Oral Biology Program at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (1996-1999). During her PhD, she developed a project at the Forsyth Institute (Boston, MA, USA) that provided an opportunity for her to work with two renowned researchers in the areas of Periondontics and Oral Microbiology, Dr. Sigmund Socransky and Dr. Anne Haffajee. Dr. Socransky developed the microbiological technique, Checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization, in order to evaluate complex microbiological ecosystems, such as oral biofilm. This technique has been adopted by the microbiology laboratory at UNG University by Prof. Magda Feres and has facilitated the development of a considerable number of studies related to the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. To date, there are only a few laboratories worldwide that perform Checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization.

During her stay at Harvard and the Forsyth Institute, Prof. Magda Feres also had the opportunity to participate in clinical studies directed by Dr. Max Goodson and contributed to by various members of the Forsyth Institute, Harvard, and Boston and Tufts Universities. The objective was to discuss the experimental design of different clinical studies that had been performed at the Forsyth Institute’s Periodontal Center in order to exchange information for data analysis and to discuss the results of different scientific studies. Prof. Magda Feres has directly applied this training to research performed at UNG University, and as a result several internationally recognized high-quality, randomized, and controlled clinical studies have been conducted to test various periodontal therapies.

Other qualified members of the group have developed different types of studies that are applicable to the field of Periodontics. For example, Prof. Luciene Figueiredo, Prof. Marcelo de Faveri, and Prof. Bruno Bueno have experience with various microbiological methods, including bacterial culturing, modeling of multispecies biofilms, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), RNA oligonucleotide quantification technique (ROQT), and genetic sequencing analyses. The use of these techniques has facilitated both in vitro and in vivo studies to test the ability of various antimicrobial substances to control the formation of biofilm.

In addition to microbiological methods, a subset of professors in this group also use methods from the fields of immunology and molecular biology to evaluate a host’s response to periodontal and peri-implant infections. Specifically, Prof. Jamil Awad Shibli, Prof. Poliana Mendes Duarte, Prof. Gabriela Giro, and Prof. Marta Bastos are developing studies relevant to the fields of Periodontics and Implantology by using histological, histomorphometric, and immunohistochemical analyses, as well as real-time PCR gene expression, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), and multiplex trials, to evaluate multiple biomarkers.

Various studies conducted by this group have been recognized by both national and international organizations. As a result, reliable financial support has been obtained for this research group. In particular, a majority of the studies developed have been financed by FAPESP and CNPq. Funding has also been received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA) for the development of clinical studies that investigate periodontal therapies performed in Brazil in collaboration with the Forsyth Institute, under the direction of Dr. Anne Haffajee and Prof. Magda Feres. Researchers from this group are also frequently invited to give courses and lectures in Brazil and worldwide, thereby demonstrating their level of recognition by the wider scientific community. Finally, the Periodontics group at UNG University is one of the best published groups in high-impact scientific journals in this field, thus further expanding the Program’s international reputation.

Research Group in Restorative Dentistry

One of the main activities of this group is directed to the development and understanding of the possible interaction mechanisms of bleaching agents with dental hard tissues. In vitro and in situ study models have been used to evaluate the possible adverse effects on enamel. In vivo clinical trials are currently been conducted in order to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of recently developed materials and techniques.

This group also investigates the interaction mechanisms with different adhesive materials and dental hard tissues at the ultramorphological level. The research experience includes several mechanical tests, electron microscopy techniques and FTIR spectroscopy. The researchers have received funding from the Brazilian government, especially from the São Paulo State Research Foundation.

Research Group in Implantology

The research group in Implantology is coordinated by Prof. Jamil Awad Shibli, who completed his MSc and PhD at the Araraquara Dental Faculty, UNESP and has a postdoctoral qualification from the Ribeirão Preto Dental Faculty, USP. During his doctoral studies, he spent part of his time at the State University of New York (Buffalo, NY, USA), where he worked with Dr. Robert Genco and Dr. Joseph Zambon, both renowned international researchers in the area of Periodontics and Implantology. The other members of the Implantology group include Dr. José Augusto Rodrigues, Dr. Alessandra Cassoni Ferreira, and Dr. Gabriela Giro Araujo. These faculty members have qualifications in various areas and are involved in international collaborations with different research centers of excellence, such as the Forsyth Institute (Boston, MA, USA) and University of Florida (Gainesville, FL, USA).

In addition, this research group is working on various studies in partnership with highly regarded international researchers in the areas of Biomaterials and Implants, such as Dr. Adriano Piattelli from University of Chieti, Italy. Dr. Piattelli is the author of more than 720 studies that have been published in high-impact journals within the field of Implantology, Dr. Paulo G. Coelho of New York University, Dr. David D. Ehrferst of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and Dr. José Luiz Calvo-Guirado of University of Murcia, Spain. Partnerships have been established between the Implantology group and other Brazilian universities, such as FOAr-UNESP, FORP-USP, FO-USP, and UFU. These colloborations, which result in a high level of productivity, have been supported by research funding obtained from research organizations and businesses. Collaborations with researchers and postdoctoral fellows (funded by CNPq and CAPES) have further facilitated an exchange of projects and methods, thereby enhancing the high level of scientific productivity by this group, as demonstrated by the number of publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as textbooks, that are credited to this group.

The Implantology group is further working on various projects to improve their understanding of the behavior and maintenance of implant-supported restorations. In parallel, peri-implant diseases have been evaluated, as well as the impact of local factors (including both macro- and microstructures) and systemic factors (e.g., smoking, osteoporosis, diabetes), using clinical indexes, x-rays, mechanical trials, and histological, histomorphological, immunological, microbiological, and immunohistochemical analyses. These data are then used to establish models which are examined in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. In addition, the Implantology group has recently incorporated research evaluating zirconium and changes to implant surfaces with the use of high power lasers into its projects.

Current Research Projects

Research Group in Periodontics
Clinical and Microbiological Evaluations of Different Antimicrobials on the Treatment of Periodontal Disease.
Clinical, Microbiological, and Immunological Characteristics of People in the Brazilian Population with Aggressive and Chronic Periodontitis.
The Clinical, Microbiological, and Immunological Effect of Different Antimicrobial agents on the Treatment of Chronic Periodontal Disease in Smokers.
The Effect of Different Factors on Bone Repair and the Progression of Periodontal Disease.
Microbiota of Oral Surfaces.
Periodontitis and Diabetes Mellitus.
Plastic and Regenerative Therapy.

Research Group in Implantology
The Effects of Different Systemic and Local Factors on Bone Repair and Progression of Peri-implant Disease.
The Influence of Different Biomaterials on Peri-implant Tissues.
The Influence of Different Microstructures of Osseointegrated Implants on Peri-implant Tissues.
The Clinical, Microbiological, and Immunological Profiles of Peri-implant Disease
Before and After Different Types of Anti-Infectious Therapy.
Peri-implant Regeneration.

Research Group in Dentistry
Evaluation of the Physical and Mechanical Properties of Restorative Materials.
The Effect of Bleaching Techniques on Dental Tissues and Restorative Materials.
The Influence of Techniques to Activate the Polymerization of Resin Cements.
Prevention of Dental Caries Disease.
Bond of Restorative Materials to Enamel, Dentin, and Other Restorative Materials.

Current Outreach Projects
Afternoon Learning – The objective of this project is to improve the knowledge base of elementary and middle school teachers and to present some of the methods that are used at the university and in research so that the teachers can apply them in the classroom.

The Happy Toothbrush – This project provides guidance regarding oral hygiene to schoolchildren at participating schools. To date, activities are planned at the EE Roberto Alves and EE Jardim Santa Cecília schools, both of which are in the city of Guarulhos, SP.