Scope of Research

The Kornberg School of Dentistry Center for Public Health and Behavioral Sciences Research is a cross-disciplinary and collaborative research center with diverse faculty expertise in fields of dental medicine such as biostatistics, cariology, dental public health, oral epidemiology and psychology.

Research in this medical center is focused on the

  • study of preventive dentistry, which concentrates on procedures and practices that help patients avoid the development of oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontal disease.
  • behavioral aspects of oral diseases, including the experience and expression of pain among adult and pediatric patients, and factors associated with dental anxiety and its management.
  • conduct of social epidemiology studies, with analysis of the social determinants that contribute to disparities in oral and dental health and access to care.
  • use of artificial intelligence and machine learning applications for modelling oral health outcomes

The center also participates in a number of collaborations funded in part by the Health Resources & Services Administration, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This work includes partnerships with the following departments at Temple and external organizations.

Research development is supported within the School of Dentistry Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry and the postgraduate Residency in Dental Public Health programs.


Recent Funding

"The effect of a cognitive behavioral approach to reducing gingivitis and dental plaque in adolescents"
Colgate Palmolive Inc.
Role: Co-PI (Dunne E)-subcontract
Total Costs: $171,713

“Trajectories/Predictors of Oral Health-Related Quality of Life to Early Adulthood. A Machine learning approach.”
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
April 2022–April 2024
Role:  Co-PI (Ogwo)-Subcontract
Amount: $112,884

“U01 Clinical Trial or Biomarker Clinical Evaluation Study Planning Grant- Dental Anxiety Treatment among Patients in a University Clinic Setting”
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
August 2018–July 2023
Role: PI (Tellez), Co-PI (Dunne)
Amount: $2,591,834

“Community-based Dental Services for at risk children less than 5 years of age in North Philadelphia”
Jessie Ball DuPont Fund
March 2018–December 2021
Role: PI (Tellez)
Amount: $95,191

“Patient Care, Population Health and Community-based Training”
Project for Dental Students, US DHHS/HRSA
July 2017–June 2022
Role: PI (Tellez)
Amount: $1,559,006

“Project CASA”
Colgate Palmolive Company
February 2017–April 2019
Role: PI (Tellez)
Amount: $188,000

“Integrated Health Care Model for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing” 
Jessie Ball DuPont Fund 
August 2020–August 2021
Role: PI (Tellez)
Amount: $75,000

“Tai Chi intervention to improve chronic pain management for adults with HIV”
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
April 2019–March 2024
Role: PI (Dunne)
Amount: $820,554


Nutrition Counseling for Obesity Prevention: Dental Applications (Training Module)

As part of the Center for Public Health and Behavioral Sciences Research's focus on obesity research and education, Kornberg faculty developed this video training module to assist in the understanding of obesity and its causes in children.

Oral Health Advocacy Toolkit

In 2017, faculty from the Department of Oral Health Science collaborated with the Childrens’ Dental Health Project to develop an Oral Health Advocacy Toolkit. This toolkit provides guidance to academic programs interested in integrating oral health advocacy training into their dental curriculum.

Nutrition Counseling and Obesity Prevention Handbook

In collaboration with the Center for Obesity Research and Education, Kornberg’s faculty developed the Nutrition Counseling and Obesity Prevention Handbook, designed to increase knowledge and skills around childhood obesity prevention, healthy nutrition and dietary counseling.

Selected Publications

Dunne, E. M., Rosen, R. K., McTigue, G. L., Jamison, R. N., Yeh, G. Y., Rich, J. D., & Carey, M. P. (2022). The Lived Experience of Managing HIV and Chronic Pain: Qualitative Interviews with Patients and Healthcare Providers. AIDS and Behavior, 26(2), 496-511.

Lim S, Tellez M, Ismail AI. Emotional Distress and Risk of Dental Caries-Evaluating Effect Modification by Chronic Conditions Among Low Income African American Caregivers in Detroit, Michigan. Accepted Front in Public Health Jan 2023
Patel JS, Su C, Tellez M, Albandar JM, Rao R, Iyer V, Shi E, Wu H. Developing and testing a prediction model for periodontal disease using machine learning and big electronic dental record data Front Artif Intell. 2022 Oct 13;5:979525. doi: 10.3389/frai.2022.979525. eCollection 2022.PMID: 36311550

Patel J, Rao R, Joachim K, Tellez M, Albandar J, Wu H. Natural Language Processing Applications to Extract Periodontal Disease and Medical History Information from Electronic Dental Records. ACM Conference February 2022

Patel JS, Brandon R, Tellez M, Albandar JM, Rao R, Krois J, Wu H. Developing Automated Computer Algorithms to Phenotype Periodontal Disease Diagnoses in Electronic Dental Records. Methods Inf Med. 2022 Dec;61(S 02):e125-e133. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-1757880. Epub 2022 Nov 22.

Yang, M., Chagtai, A., Melendez, M., Haason, H., Badi, M., Sperraza, L., Yesilsoy, C., Godel, J., Tellez, M., Orrego, S., Montoya, C., Ismail, AI. Mitigating Saliva Aerosol Contamination in a Dental School Clinic. BMC Oral Health 2021 21:52 

Tellez, M., Meraner, M., Lim, S., Brandon, R., Ismail, AI. An Innovative Approach to Assess Comprehensive Care: Temple University’s Patient Wellness Report. J of Dent Educ Dec 2020:1-8.

Dunne EM, Rosen RK, Rich C, Norris AL, Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Carey MP. Telephone-delivered behavioral health interventions for people living with HIV: patients' perspectives from a qualitative study. AIDS Care. 2021 Sep;33(9):1155-1158.

Carey MP, Dunne EM, Norris A, Dunsiger S, Rich C, Rosen RK, Chan P, Salmoirago-Blotcher E. Telephone-Delivered Mindfulness Training to Promote Medication Adherence and Reduce Sexual Risk Behavior Among Persons Living with HIV: An Exploratory Clinical Trial AIDS Behav. 2020 Jun;24(6):1912-1928. doi: 10.1007/s10461-019-02768-2.PMID: 31848765 Clinical Trial.

Mannes ZL, Dunne EM, Ferguson EG, Cook RL, Ennis N. Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder as a risk factor for substance use among adults living with HIV AIDS Care. 2021 May;33(5):623-632. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2020.1808163. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Lim, S., Tellez, M., Ismail, AI. Chronic stress and unhealthy dietary behaviors among low-income African American female caregivers. Curr Dev Nutr 2020 Mar 17;4(3):nzaa029. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzaa029. eCollection 2020 Mar.

Lim, S., Alqahtani, S., Tellez, M., Ismail, AI. An Innovative Individual-level Caries Severity and Progression Indicator among Children. J Public Health Dent. 2020 Jun;80(2):168-174. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12367. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

Baraniya, D., Chen, T., Nahar, A., Alakwaa, F., Hill, J., Tellez, M., Ismail, AI., Puri, S., Al-hebshi, NN. Supraginigival Mycobiome and Inter-Kingdom Interactions in Dental Caries. J Oral Microbiology Jan 2020 12(1):1729305

Tellez M, Lim S. ICDAS is widely used as standardized and reliable caries detection criteria, but its reporting varies widely. J Evid Based Dent Pract doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2020.101409. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Tellez, M., Myers-Virtue, S., Neckritz, S., Bhooptahi, V., Hernandez, M., Shierer, B., Ismail, AI. Randomized Clinical Trial of a Motivational Interviewing Intervention to Improve Oral Health Education among Older Adults in Philadelphia: 12-Month Evaluation of Non-Clinical Outcomes. Gerodontology. 2020 Sep;37(3):279-287. doi: 10.1111/ger.12488. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Tellez M., Ismail AI. Chapter Measurement of Dental Caries and Distribution. Burt and Eklund’s Dentistry, Dental Practice and the Community 7th Edition. Elsevier, AAPHD. 2021

Tellez, M., Myers-Virtue, S., Neckritz, S., Bhooptahi, V., Hernandez, M., Shierer, B. Motivational Interviewing and Oral Health Education. Experiences from a Sample of Elderly Individuals in North and North East Philadelphia Spec Care Dentist. 2019 Feb 14. doi: 10.1111/scd.12366.

Lim, S., Tellez, M., Ismail, AI. Estimating a dynamic effect of soda intake on pediatric dental caries using Targeted Maximum Likelihood Estimation Method. Caries Res 2019 Mar 19:1-9.

Al-hebshi, N., Baraniya, D., Chen, T., Hill, J., Puri, S., Tellez, M., Hassan, N., Colwell, R. and Ismail, A. Metagenome sequencing-based strain-level and functional characterization of supragingival microbiome associated with dental caries in children. J Oral Microbiology. 2019 11:1, 1557986

Ismail, AI., Tellez, M., Pitts, N. A Commentary on Caries Detection, Validity, Reliability and Outcomes of Care. Caries Res. 2018 Mar 5;52(5):392-396