The Paediatric Caries Research Program falls under the “Diagnosis & Prevention of Oral Disease” research theme, and has a multi-focus approach to caries research. The research is both clinical and laboratory-based, including microbiological investigations. Current studies examine strategies for diagnosis, prevention and management of caries in children, and research projects examine the aetiology and risk factors for early childhood caries, efficacies and cost-benefits of preventive methods and treatment strategies for management of caries in children. Clinical studies are undertaken at Queensland Health facilities at Logan-Beaudesert District while laboratory research is based at the School of Dentistry.
Current research projects focus on the prevention of early childhood caries in a low socioeconomic, disadvantaged district of Queensland. Longitudinal studies of children from birth to six years of age are progressing well. These examine the colonisation of children with cariogenic bacteria, timing of caries development and efficacy of various techniques for prevention of early childhood caries. Randomised controlled clinical trials on the effectiveness of various therapeutic agents such as casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) and chlorhexidine are being conducted. The clinical investigations have been extended to include studies of twin children, as well as investigations on role of mutans streptococci and other dental biofilm bacteria in caries development using real-time PCR techniques. Studies into innovative approaches for restorative and pulp therapy for management of early childhood caries are planned.
Selected Current Publications
Seow WK. Environmental, maternal and child factors which contribute to early childhood caries: A unifying conceptual model. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 2012; 22: 157–168.
Plonka KA, Pukallus M, Barnett A, Holcombe TH, Walsh LJ, Seow WK. Mutans streptococci and lactobacilli colonisation in predentate children from the neonatal period to seven months of age. Caries Research 2012; 46:213–220.
Plonka KA, Pukallus M, Barnett A, Holcombe TH, Walsh LJ, Seow WK. A longitudinal study comparing mutans streptococci and lactobacilli colonisation in dentate children from 6 to 24 months of age. Caries Research 2012;46:385–393.
Plonka KA, Pukallus M, Barnett A, Holcombe TH, Walsh LJ, Seow WK. A controlled, longitudinal study of home visits compared to telephone contacts to prevent early childhood caries. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 2012 (published 18 January 2012 early view online DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2011.01219.x).
Wong N, Tran C, Pukallus M, Holcombe T, Seow WK. A 3-year retrospective study of emergency visits at a community oral health clinic for children. Australian Dental Journal 57: 132-137.
Plonka KA, Pukallus M, Barnett A, Holcombe TH, Walsh LJ, Seow WK. A randomized controlled clinical trial comparing a remineralizing paste with an antibacterial gel to prevent early childhood caries. Pediatric Dentistry (in press).
Pukallus M, Plonka, K, Barnett A, Holcombe TH, Walsh LJ, Seow WK. A randomised, controlled clinical trial comparing chlorhexidine gel and low-dose fluoride toothpaste to prevent early childhood caries. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 2012 (published 19 June 2012 early view online DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2012.01248.x).
Townsend G, Bockmann M, Hughes T, Mihailidis M, Seow WK, Brook A. New directions in dental anthropology: paradigms, methodologies and outcomes. In: New approaches to dental anthropology based on the study of twins, Townsend G, Kanazawa E and
Takayama H. Adelaide: The University of Adelaide Press, 2012.
Ngo HC, Seow WK. Two compliance-free and site-specific caries control techniques: pre-fissure and proximal sealants. International Dentistry 2012; 2: 38-49.
Pukallus ML, Plonka KA, Barnett AG, Holcombe TH, Walsh LJ, Seow WK. A randomised controlled trial of casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) to reduce mutans streptococci colonisation. Pediatric Dentistry (in press).
Plonka KA, Pukallus M, Barnett A, Holcombe TH, Walsh LJ, Seow WK. A longitudinal case-control study of caries development from birth to 36 months. Caries Research (in press).
Al-Turwirqi A, Lambie D, Seow WK. Regional odontodysplasia: Literature review and report of an unusual case located in the mandible. Pediatric Dentistry (in press).
Hughes T, Bockmann M, Milhailidis S, Bennett C, Harris A, Seow WK, Lekkas D, Ranjitkar S, Rupinskas L, Pinkerton S, Brook A, Townsend GC. Genetic, epigenetic, and environmental influences on dentofacial structures and oral health: Ongoing studies of Australian twins and their Families. Twins Res (in press)
Ngo HC, Seow WK. Dental sealants. In Comprehensive preventive dentistry, Limeback H (ed). Ames Iowa: Blackwell Publishing, 2012.
Taji S, Seow WK, Townsend GT, Holcombe T. Enamel hypoplasia in monozygotic and dizygotic twins compared with singleton controls. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 2011; 21:175-184.
Al-Turwirqi A, Holcombe T, Seow WK. A study of dental development in a Caucasian population compared to a non-Caucasian population. European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry 2011; 12: 26-30.
Seow WK, Ford D, Kazoullis S, Holcombe T. Comparison of enamel hypoplasia in the primary and permanent dentition of children from a low fluoride district in Australia. Pediatric Dentistry 2011;33:547-551.
Taji S, Savage N, Holcombe T, Khan F, Seow WK. Congenital total absence of the major salivary glands. Pediatric Dentistry 2011; 33:113:118
Seow WK. A nutritional program involving home visits may reduce the incidence of early childhood caries, Journal of Evidence-based Dental Practice 2011; 11:60-61.
Seow WK, Taji S. Diagnosis and management of toothwear in children. In Farid Khan and William George Young (Ed.), Toothwear : The ABC of the worn dentition (pp. 16-33) Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
Wright JT, Torain M, Long K, Seow WK, Crawford P, Aldred MJ, Hart PS, Hart TC. Amelogenesis Imperfecta: Genotype – Phenotype Studies in 71 Families. Cells Tissues Organs 2011;194: 279-283.
Barnett A, Plonka K, Seow WK, Wilson LA, Hansen C. Associations between traffic exposure and birth outcomes using a prospective cohort in Australia. Environ Health 2011; 10: 26-37.