Scope of Research

The Oral Microbiology Testing Service (OMTS) Laboratory at the Kornberg School of Dentistry provides commercial diagnostic testing services to practicing dentists and several dental school clinical programs in the U.S. The OMTS Laboratory is licensed by the Pennsylvania Health Department for clinical periodontal microbiology analysis. These services are focused on microbial culture and antibiotic susceptibility testing of dental plaque/biofilm sampled from patients with periodontal disease or failing dental implants.

The OMTS Laboratory also 

  • conducts self-funded periodontal microbiology research,
  • evaluates the quality of dental unit water within the Kornberg School of Dentistry, and
  • analyzes biological indicators from the school’s autoclaves to assess their sterilization efficacy and compliance with infection control policies.

Organisms routinely examined for by culture include the following.

  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Tannerella forsythia
  • Prevotella intermedia/nigrescens
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum
  • Campylobacter rectus
  • Parvimonas micra 
  • Streptococcus constellatus
  • Streptococcus intermedius
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • gram-negative enteric rods/pseudomonads
  • Staphylococcus aureus and other staphylococci
  • Candida species (yeasts)

Established in 1982 as the world’s first clinical periodontal microbiology laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, the OMTS Laboratory moved to Temple University in 1997. It is the largest state-licensed, culture-based clinical periodontal microbiology laboratory of its kind in the U.S. 

The OMTS Laboratory is inspected and licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for high-complexity bacteriological analysis, and meets the same proficiency and quality control standards required of hospital medical microbiology laboratories. The laboratory is also Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for human diagnostic specimen testing. 

For information about OMTS Laboratory services and fees, microbial sampling and shipping instructions, and to obtain a free test sampling kit, contact
Jacqueline Sautter, medical laboratory technician.
Phone: 215-707-4237


Recent Funding

The OMTS Laboratory has obtained $349,675 in external funding since 2017 from its fee-for-service commercial diagnostic periodontal microbiology testing.

Selected Publications

Rams, T.E., Sautter, J.D., Sperrazza, L.A., Castillo, A., Reinlander, O.M., van Winkelhoff, A.J. Emergence of Cupriavidus metallidurans in silver ion-disinfected dental unit water. Journal of Dental Research 97(Special Issue A): abstract 2627, 2019

Rams, T.E., Sautter, J.D., Hsiao, C.Y., van Winkelhoff, A.J. Phenotypic identification of periodontal Prevotella intermedia/nigrescens group isolates validated by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Anaerobe 54:201-204, 2018

McCawley, T.K., McCawley, M.N., Rams, T.E. Immediate effects of Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) on human periodontitis microbiota. Journal of the International Academy of Periodontology 20:163-171, 2018

Rams, T.E., Listgarten, M.A., Slots, J. Radiographic alveolar bone morphology and progressive periodontitis. Journal of Periodontology 89:424-430, 2018

Rams, T.E., Sautter, J.D., van Winkelhoff, A.J. Antibiotic resistance changes in periodontal Parvimonas micra over 10 years. Journal of Dental Research 96(Special Issue A):abstract 780, 2018

Rams, T.E., Loesche, W.J. Relationship between Periodontal Screening and Recording index scores and need for periodontal access surgery. Journal of Periodontology 88:1042-1050, 2017

Rams, T.E., van Winkelhoff, A.J. Introduction to clinical microbiology for the general dentist. Dental Clinics of North America 61:179-197, 2017

Rams, T.E., Alwaqyan, A.Y. In vitro performance of DIAGNOdent laser fluorescence device for dental calculus detection on human tooth root surfaces. Saudi Dental Journal 29:171-178, 2017 

Rams, T.E., Lopes, J.A., Crowley, M.J., Chialastri, S.M. Comparative in vitro performance of an ODU 11/12 dental explorer and differential reflectometry for detection of subgingival dental calculus. Journal of Oral Biology 4(2):5, 2017 

Rams, T.E., Sautter, J.D., Getreu, A., van Winkelhoff, A.J. Phenotypic identification of Porphyromonas gingivalis validated with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Microbial Pathogenesis 94:112-116, 2016

van Winkelhoff, A.J., Rurenga, P., Wekema-Mulder, G.J., Singadji, Z.M., Rams, T.E. Non-oral gram-negative facultative rods in chronic periodontitis microbiota. Microbial Pathogenesis 94:117-122, 2016

Keyes, P.H., Rams, T.E. Dental calculus arrest of dental caries. Journal of Oral Biology 3(1):4, 2016 

McCawley, M.N., Bronstein, D., Hernandez, M.A., DeLuca, K., Drukteinis, S.E., Rams, T.E. Clinical subgingival calculus detection with laser fluorescence and a dental explorer. Journal of Dental Research 95(Special Issue A):abstract 102, 2016

Keyes, P.H., Rams, T.E. Subgingival microbial and inflammatory cell morphotypes associated with chronic periodontitis progression in treated adults. Journal of the International Academy of Periodontology 17:49-57, 2015 

Rams, T.E., Hawley, C.E., Whitaker, E.J., Degener, J.E., van Winkelhoff, A.J. Centipeda periodontii in human periodontitis. Odontology 103:286-291, 2015

Sun, A., Cesaroni, M., Jobin, C., Barrero, C., Jelinek, J., Sautter, J.D., Rams, T.E., Merali, S., Issa, J.P. Distinct microbiome in colorectal cancers with the CpG island methylator phenotype. Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research 106th Annual Meeting, abstract 2889, 2015

McCawley, T.K., McCawley, M.N., Rams, T.E. Immediate effects of Nd:YAG laser alone on chronic periodontitis microbiota. Journal of Dental Research 94(Special Issue A):abstract 1722, 2015