UW School of Dentistry

Faculty Presentations

The Emperor’s New Vibration Device

Dr. Greg Huang
Greg J. Huang, DMD, MSD, MPH
Professor and Chair,  Department of Orthodontics

Whole body vibration has been used in medicine for improving bone density, and over the past decade, vibration devices have been introduced to the field of orthodontics to speed up tooth movement.  These devices have been promoted quite extensively by their manufacturers, and many orthodontists offer supplemental vibration as an adjunct to conventional braces or clear aligners. The devices can be quite expensive, and anecdotally, practitioners and patients report impressive results. However, does the evidence really support the use of vibration, or is this another case of intelligent people being fooled by smart marketing and their own vanity?

Dr. Huang received his dental degree from the University of Florida, and then earned a Certificate in Orthodontics and an MSD from the University of Washington.  After 10 years of private practice, he decided to pursue a full-time academic career at UW.  Dr. Huang has been active in clinical research, and has conducted studies ranging from retrospective investigations to randomized trials.  He is a well-known advocate of Evidence-based Orthodontics, lecturing nationally and internationally on this topic.  In 2008, he was named Chair of the Department of Orthodontics at UW.  Dr. Huang is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, as well as an Angle Society member.  He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, and is the co-editor of two orthodontic textbooks: Evidence-based Orthodontics (2011) and Orthodontics: Current Principles and Techniques, 6th edition (2016).

What is the Outcome?

Brian Leroux

Brian Leroux, PhD
Professor, Department of Oral Health Sciences and Biostatistics

One of the challenges in many areas of oral health research is the lack of consensus on measures of disease outcomes and diagnostic rules. This problem can inhibit research progress by limiting the impact of research on clinical practice, producing inconsistent results between studies (thereby contributing to the replicability crisis), and creating difficulties in combining studies in meta-analyses.  In this talk, Dr. Leroux will discuss the issues involved with choosing outcome variables in a variety of settings including disease surveillance, etiologic research, and clinical trials.

Dr. Leroux received his PhD in Statistics at the University of British Columbia in 1989 and has been a faculty member at the University of Washington since 1991. He is currently Professor in the Department of Oral Health Sciences in the School of Dentistry and in the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health. His research interests are in biostatistical methods and their applications to biomedical research with an emphasis on oral health research. His recent research roles include Principal Investigator of the Data Coordinating Center for the Northwest PRECEDENT dental practice-based research network and Statistician for the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Data Coordinating Center.

Clinical Trial Evidence on Oral Hygiene as a Therapeutic

Philipe Hujoel
Philippe Hujoel, PhD, DDS, MSD, MS
Professor, Department of Oral Health Sciences

Historically, there were two hypotheses on the benefits of oral hygiene. On one hand, there was the hypothesis that oral hygiene (brushing and cleaning between teeth) provided health benefits – that dental plaque was the primary cause of dental caries, periodontal disease, and – possibly – serious systemic diseases. Primary prevention of these diseases thus would depend on oral hygiene. On the other hand, there was the hypothesis that oral hygiene only provided cosmetic benefits, that dental and systemic diseases have a shared systemic etiology and require medical interventions. Only one of these hypotheses survived. The dominating common wisdom now is that the bacteria in dental plaque cause dental and systemic diseases, and that therefore oral hygiene, the removal of this dental plaque, is of an unequivocal therapeutic benefit. The hypothesis that dental diseases have systemic etiologies was largely forgotten. The aim of this critical review is to focus on these two historical hypotheses from the modern perspective of controlled trials.

Dr. Philippe Hujoel pursued degrees in epidemiology, biostatistics, and periodontology. His research interests currently focus on evidence-based dentistry and lower face variability.