Faculty and Staff, Periodontology

Dental Faculty Receive Sunstar Award for Research on Periodontal Disease-Systemic Conditions Relationship

Four UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry faculty members recently received the Sunstar Award for most outstanding paper on the relationship between periodontal disease and systemic conditions.

The Sunstar Foundation for Oral Health Promotion sponsored the award, in collaboration with the Journal of Periodontology, the Journal of Clinical Periodontology and the Journal of Periodontal Research. Co-sponsors are Sunstar Inc. and Sunstar Butler.

The Sunstar Award screening committee selected “Relationship of Periodontal Disease and Tooth Loss to Prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease,” originally published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Periodontology, for first prize.

Dr. John R. Elter, adjunct assistant professor of dental ecology and of health policy and administration (in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health), was the principal author of the publication. Co-authors were Dr. Catherine M.E. Champagne, research assistant professor of periodontology; Dr. Steven Offenbacher, OraPharma distinguished professor of periodontal medicine; and Dr. James D. Beck, Kenan professor of dental ecology.

The award was presented to Elter at a ceremony during the recent Europerio 5 Congress, organized by the European Federation of Periodontology and the Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osteointegration. The event was held in Madrid, Spain.

The study’s findings suggested that tooth loss and periodontal disease are associated with coronary heart disease only when both conditions are present.

Offenbacher and Beck co-direct the School of Dentistry’s Center for Oral and Systemic Diseases. Elter is now director of surveys for the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Quality and Performance.