Awards, Faculty and Staff, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Research, Students

UNC Researchers Win National Recognition for Research on Third Molars

Researchers at the UNC School of Dentistry received national recognition from the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation (OMSF) for their research on third molars, commonly called wisdom teeth. OMSF honored them with the 2015 Daniel M. Laskin Award, which recognizes the best paper published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (JOMS) during 2014.

The winning research, entitled “Effect of Quality of Life Measures on the Decision to Remove Third Molars in Subjects with Mild Pericoronitis Symptoms,” examined the relationship between pain and other quality of life outcomes with the decision and timing to have third molars removed in patients with pericoronitis. Lifestyle and oral function were clearly affected by the condition, not recognized by many clinicians prior to this report. Therefore, it is important that clinicians discuss with their patients not only the recurring nature of pain with pericoronitis, but also other quality of life issues.

The paper was authored exclusively by residents and faculty at the UNC School of Dentistry: Dr. Dana Tang, 2014 graduate of the Orthodontics Graduate Program; Dr. Ceib Phillips, professor in the Department of Orthodontics; Dr. William Proffit, Kenan Professor in the Department of Orthodontics; Dr. Lorne Koroluk, chair of the Department of Orthodontics; and Dr. Ray White, McMichael Distinguished Professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

The Laskin award annually recognizes the authors of the most outstanding paper from the previous year. The JOMS editorial board selects the winner. It is considered one of the most prestigious research awards in the field and is named for Dr. Daniel M. Laskin, who served many years as the editor-in-chief of JOMS.

“It is truly an honor to receive this award and have our school recognized,” said Tang. “UNC has an accomplished faculty and numerous research opportunities, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with a group of talented individuals. It has been a rewarding experience to do clinical research, to find answers to the questions that clinicians are faced with, and to ultimately help our patients.”