Alum’s research leads to award, grant for orthodontic department

February 27th, 2015

During his time as a resident in the Graduate Orthodontic Program at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, Dr. Chad Capps was well aware that expansion, a common treatment method that widens the upper jaw, was linked to what is known as “tipping of the teeth.” This occurs when the crown moves in one direction while the tooth root moves in another, or if the crown moves further than the root.

“Multiple studies show that when the teeth tip, the stress placed on the bone can cause bone loss. We were investigating if the bone loss still occurs if the teeth expand without tipping,” says Capps, a 2014 orthodontic alumnus, of his thesis research while at TAMBCD.

Dr. Chad Capps

Dr. Chad Capps, ’08, ’14

“There are a lot of people who believe that you can’t create bone during expansion, and I think we proved that you can. On the other hand, this study doesn’t ‘prove’ that you can expand without consequences,” says Capps, who worked with faculty mentors Drs. Peter Buschang and Phillip Campbell on the study. Research is being conducted to examine if, after expansion without tipping, the bone is thick enough to support long-term periodontal health.

Capps’ study, titled “Evaluation of transverse, bodily tooth movement and its effects on the surrounding hard tissue,” won first place in the Dentsply GAC GCARE —Clinical Alliance for Research and Education — University Research Award competition. The honors include a $1,000 cash award for Capps, as well as a $4,000 unrestricted education grant for the college’s Department of Orthodontics.

Orthodontic residents from across the country competed for the honor, with second and third place going to residents from the Roseman University of Health Sciences’ orthodontic program and the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

Clinical professor Dr. Richard Ceen, chair of the Dentsply GAC University Leadership Council and a member of the GCARE Advisory Board, presented the inaugural award at the 2015 Dentsply GAC World Orthodontic Congress, held Feb. 18-21 in San Diego.

“This speaks to the high level of research done by our residents when evaluated nationally,” Ceen says of Capps’ award.

— Jennifer Fuentes