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.

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

“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

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 

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.

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. There are differences among studies in the utilization of the ICDAS in summarizing caries. JEBDP March 2020

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., 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

Myers-Virtue, S., Waldron, EM., Darabos, K., DeAngelis, C., Moore, DA., Fornatora, M., Tellez, M. Dental Students’ Attitudes Toward Tobacco Cessation in the Dental Setting: A Systematic Review. J Dent Educ. 2017; 81(5):500-516. doi:10.21815/JDE.016.016 

Myers-Virtue, S., Pendergast, L.L., Waldron, E.M., Tellez, M., & Ismail, A.I.  Identifying non-cognitive skills that contribute to predoctoral dental student success: Dental faculty perspectives. J Dent Educ 2017; 81(3):300-309.

Volgenant, CMC., Zaura, E., Brandt, BW., Buijs, MJ., Tellez, M., Malik, G., Ismail, AI., ten Cate, JM., Van der Veen, MH. Red fluorescence of dental plaque in children – a cross-sectional study. J Dent. 2017 Mar;58:40-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2017.01.007. Epub 2017 Jan 20.

Bhoopathi, V., Tellez, M., Lim, S. Limited Quality Evidence Suggests that Caries Experience at Age 6 May Predict Low Oral Health Related Quality of Life at 10 years. J Evid Base Dent Pract 2017; 17 (2): 119-121.

Bhoopathi, V., Zhao, H., Myers, S. Smoking Status, Dental visits and Receipt of Tobacco Counseling in Dental office among Mobile and Trailer Home Adolescents. BMC Oral Health 2016; 16(1):121.

Potter, C., Kinner, DG., Jensen, D., Kaplan, S., Waldron, L., Tellez, M., Myers-Virtue, S.,  Heimberg, R. G., Ismail, A. I Understanding and Treating Dental Anxiety: Dentists and Psychologists Join Forces at Temple University. Clinical Psychologist 2016 69(2):6-17

Tellez, M., Wolff, M. The Public Health Reach of High Fluoride Vehicles: Examples of Innovative Approaches. Caries Research 2016;50(S1):61-7

Potter, C., Kinner, D., Tellez, M., Ismail, AI., Heimberg, R. Single-Session Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Dental Anxiety: A Case Series. Clinical Case Studies 2016;15(1):3-17.

Tellez, M., Bhoopathi, V., Lim, S. Baseline caries risk assessment using CAMBRA may predict caries only in high and extreme caries risk groups. J Evid Based Dent Pract 2015 Dec;15(4):197-9

Torres, LHN., Tellez, M., Hilgert, JB., Hugo, FN., Sousa, MLR., Ismail, AI. Frailty, Frailty Components and Oral Health: A Systematic Review. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Dec;63(12):2555-2562

Ismail, AI., Lim, S., Tellez, M. Tooth surface-level caries progression in the primary dentition among preschool children. Caries Res 2015;49:442-448.

Tellez, M., Potter, C., Kinner, DG., Jensen, D., Waldron, L., Myers-Virtue, S., Heimberg, RG, Ismail, AI. A Computer Administered Tool to Manage Dental Anxiety: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Dent Res. 2015 Sep;94(9 Suppl):174S-80S.

Ismail, AI., Pitts, N., Tellez, M. The International Caries Classification and Management System (ICCMS) An Example of a Caries Management Pathway. BMC Oral Health 2015, 15(Suppl 1):S9 doi:10.1186/1472-6831-15-S1-S9

Tellez, M., Kinner, D., Heimberg, RG., Lim, S., Ismail, AI. Prevalence and Correlates of Dental Anxiety in Patients Seeking Dental Care. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2015 Apr;43(2):135-42. doi: 10.1111/cdoe.12132. Epub 2014 Oct 24.