Lauren Patton, DDS



  • Certificate, Oral Medicine/Research, National Institute of Dental Research, 1990
  • Certificate, GPR, UNC Adams School of Dentistry, 1988
  • DDS, UNC Adams School of Dentistry 1986
  • AB, Biology/Psychology, Dartmouth College, 1980


Lauren Patton is a Diplomate and past President of the American Board of Oral Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Special Care Dentistry. She is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and of the American Association of Hospital Dentists, and was awarded a Fellowship in Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Patton is the Advanced Education Program Director for the UNC-CH/UNCH General Practice Residency (GPR). Her primary teaching responsibilities include didactic and clinical teaching in the GPR program, while providing care in the outpatient clinic and operating room. She also participates in teaching dental hygiene and dental students. Her special clinical interests are in the management of special needs and medically complex dental patients and diagnosing and managing oral manifestations of systemic disease.

She has conducted industry, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded research, published over 100 papers, monographs and book chapters, and lectured nationally and internationally on oral manifestations and management of patients with medical complexities, such as HIV/AIDS and oral cancer.

Patton has consulted for the U.S. government, industry, and professional organizations, including the American Dental Association (ADA), National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, and the U.S. Health Resource Services Administration’ (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions. She has been a peer reviewer for the NIH, HRSA, the American Heart Association and multiple journals. She is on the editorial board of the journal Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontics and is Associate Editor for population studies for the journal Oral Diseases. She edited the book The ADA Practical Guide to Patients with Medical Conditions” published in 2012 by John Wiley, Inc. In 2013, she received the highest academic award given by the American Academy of Oral Medicine (Samuel Charles Miller Award) for her significant contributions to the art and science of Oral Medicine.

Research Interests

Clinical trials, Diagnosis, Clinical Epidemiology, HIV infection, Health Policy research, Mucosal diseases, Public Health Dentistry, Salivary dysfunction, Systematic review, Tobacco, Oral cancer, Medically complex patients

Research Summary

Clinical trials for mucosal disease treatment or prevention, Oral complications of radiation therapy or other systemic disease management, Oral cancer prevention and early diagnosis, Management of patients with systemic disease, Oral and systemic disease interaction, HIV infection and AIDS patient dental care, access to care, oral lesions, Health services research, outcomes research, public health dentistry topics, Systematic reviews to assess evidence base for dental treatment processes

Availability to Mentor

Graduate student, undergraduate DDS or DH student, and junior faculty member