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Sunday, 30 August 2009

Publishing papers: initial observations as an author and a referee

Three basic rules for referees

I've published 9 papers in peer-reviewed dental journals in the last 2 years and have refereed half a dozen papers regarding dental materials, adhesives, resin-based composites, adhesive cements, adhesion, marginal adaptation... Since there's no 'school' or 'course' for referees that I'm aware of, I've started developing my own style. Judging from other people's reviews of my papers, this seems to be the case with most referees out there. I know that the following are very basic rules, but sometimes, even such basic rules are not followed.

Though editors put a lot of effort in finding the right referees for a particular paper, it's possible that a paper ends up in wrong hands, with someone whose field of expertise has almost nothing to do with the subject of the paper. I've noticed very 'interesting' remarks regarding one of my papers indicating that the referee wasn't an expert in the field he/she was referring to. Obviuosly, nowadays a lot of studies are multidisciplinary and this makes it even more difficult for editors to find competent referees. A potential referee may be an expert regarding only a part of a particular study. It's only fair to comment on that part and indicate this to the editor so that a competent person is invited to comment on the other part(s).

So, rule No.1: accept an invitation to review a paper only if you're an expert in the field or at least a part of it and indicate this to the editor. Decline review if the subject of the paper is not your area of expertise.

Another thing I've noticed with people refereeing my papers is that this process sometimes takes ages. Though some journals have taken steps to ensure speedy review within 3-6 weeks, with some journals this may take even more than 6 months. This is simply unacceptable. Being in a referee's position myself, I've realised that even 3 weeks is more than enough to complete a review. Of course, I'm well aware of the fact that referees are very busy and have many, many other things to do. But so are the authors and referees should respect that. It's unfair to keep someone's paper 'under review' for more than a month.

So, rule No.2: accept an invitation to review a paper only if you can complete the review in less than 3 weeks.

Also, I've noticed that there are people who just don't care about the paper they're reviewing. They tend to write and overall impression of the paper without going into specific details. This is not helpful even if the paper is good and especially if it needs to be improved. It's almost like they just skimmed through the paper. On the other hand, there are people who write extensive reviews and I find these extremely helpful.

So, rule No.3: be fully committed to reviewing a paper. Go into minute details when writing a review.

Keywords: dental materials, research, publishing papers, review process.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Santini Miletic Research Group: new website

The new website of the Santini Miletic Research Group is up and running. Please visit us at

In addition to the short CVs of group members, there is a list of selected papers published recently in international peer-reviewed journals. There is also information on research facilities available to the Group and various methods of knowledge transfer.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Up-coming event

British Society for Dental Research Conference, Glasgow, Sept 1-4, 2009.

The keynote speakers are Professor Angus Walls, Professor of Restorative Dentistry, School of Dental Sciences, Newcastle University and Professor Iain McInnes, Professor of Experimental Medicine, Division of Immunology, Infection and Inflammation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Glasgow.

Professor Angus Walls' lecture - "The ageing population, opportunity or threat?"
Professor McInnes' lecture - "Immune complexity to novel therapy - promises for a new decade?"

The following symposia are scheduled:

- Non-shrink resin composites: Dream or reality?
Aim: This symposium examine current developments of resin-based restoratives, indicating the advantages and disadvantages of resin types routinely and review the most recent advancements in resin technology.
Professor Ric van Noort, University of Sheffield: Opening remarks
Dr Rainer Guggenberger, 3M/ESPE: The chemistry of new resin systems
Dr N Silikas University of Manchester: Measurement of shrinkage and contraction stress
Professor Tim Watson Kings College London: Quality of adhesion
Professor Trevor Burke University of Birmingham: Early thoughts of clinical experience

- Novel biomaterials - can the microenvironment be improved ?

- Childsmile a Scottish oral health programme for Scottish children: collaborations and innovative evaluations

- The oral microbiota and the link with systemic disease

A total of 228 studies will be presented at the conference and the complete programme can be downloaded from HERE.

The Santini Miletic Research Group will present a study entitled "The ratio of carbon-carbon double bonds in different BisGMA/HEMA mixtures". The poster will be uploaded to this blog after the conference.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

IADR introduces official social networking platforms

Official IADR communities have been created on Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr to enhance communication between IADR members. Anyone can join. It's free. Click on each logo below for more.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

One-step self-etch adhesive, Adhese One F

A new one-step self-etch adhesive, Adhese One F, manufactured by Ivoclar Vivadent has been sent to the Santini Miletic Research Group for scientific evaluation. The adhesive is based on previously developed Adhese One with the inclusion of potassium fluoride which is reported to act as a fluoride releasing agent. The manufacturer's internal data state that there is a cumulative fluoride release over a 6 day period.

Micro-Raman spectroscopic studies will be conducted to evaluate the ratio of carbon-carbon double bonds (RDB) of Adhese One F under different curing conditions. Furthermore, the adhesive-dentine interface will be characterised in terms of dentine demineralisation and adhesive penetration and the RDB across this interface.

A previous study has shown significantly lower RDB values for Adhese One in both the adhesive and the hybrid layer compared to Excite (etch-and-rinse) and Adhese (2-step self-etch). In another study, Adhese One produced a thinner hybrid layer compared to G Bond (1-step self-etch), Filtek Silorane adhesive system (2-step self-etch) and Excite

Santini A, Miletic V. Quantitative micro-Raman assessment of dentine demineralization, adhesive penetration, and degree of conversion of three dentine bonding systems. Eur J Oral Sci 2008;116(2):177-83. Abstract Full text available upon request.

Santini A, Miletic V. Comparison of the hybrid layer formed by Silorane adhesive, one-step self-etch and etch and rinse systems using confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy and SEM. J Dent 2008;36(9):683-91. Abstract Full text available upon request.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Poll for dentists and dental therapists

What type of adhesive system do you use in your practice?

Please, select one or more answers from the poll in the sidebar.

Adhesive systems are classified according to the number of clinical application steps and adhesion strategy. This is one of the most widely accepted classifications in both clinical practice and scientific literature.

Feel free to leave a comment about your experience with any particular adhesive system.

In clinical practice, I'm using a two-step etch-and-rinse system. In PhD research, I've studied the degree of conversion and elution of unreacted monomers from a wide range of adhesive systems. Some of these results have been published in scientific dental journals and some are in press and will be published soon.

Though one-step (all-in-one) self-etch systems are currently marketed, results from many in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that these systems often have inferior properties compared to two-step self-etch and etch-and-rinse systems.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Research: Portland cement, a possible substitute for MTA in pulpotomy of primary teeth

Pulpotomy of human primary molars with MTA and Portland cement: a randomised controlled trial
V. T. Sakai, A. B. S. Moretti, T. M. Oliveira, A. P. C. Fornetti, C. F. Santos, M. A. A. M. Machado & R. C. C. Abdo

British Dental Journal 207, E5 (2009) Published online: 24 July 2009 doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.665

Objective: This study compared the clinical and radiographic effectiveness of mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and Portland cement (PC) as pulp dressing agents in carious primary teeth.

Methodology: Thirty carious primary mandibular molars of children aged 5-9 years old were randomly assigned to MTA or PC groups, and treated by a conventional pulpotomy technique. The teeth were restored with resin modified glass ionomer cement. Clinical and radiographic successes and failures were recorded at 6, 12, 18 and 24-month follow-up.

Results: All pulpotomised teeth were clinically and radiographically successful at all follow-up appointments. Six out of 15 teeth in the PC group and five out of 14 teeth in the MTA group exfoliated throughout the follow-up period. No statistically significant difference regarding dentine bridge formation was found between both groups throughout the follow-up period. As far as pulp canal obliteration is concerned, a statistically significant difference was detected at 6-month follow-up (p <0.05), since the beginning of mineralised material deposition could be radiographically detected in 100% and 57.14% of the teeth treated with PC and MTA, respectively.

Conclusions: Portland cement (PC) may serve as a substitute for MTA in pulpotomy of primary teeth. Besides the similar clinical and radiographic effectiveness of PC and MTA as pulpotomy dressing agents, PC has the advantage of being an inexpensive material. Before unlimited clinical use of PC, further studies with large samples and long follow-up assessments are needed.

Monday, 10 August 2009

ADA press release - Dental amalgam

"American Dental Association Statement: Food and Drug Administration Action on Dental Amalgam

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2009—The American Dental Association (ADA) agrees with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision not to place any restriction on the use of dental amalgam, a commonly used cavity filling material.

The FDA ruling issued today categorizes encapsulated dental amalgam as a class II medical device, placing it in the same class as gold and tooth-colored composite fillings. The ADA has supported a class II designation for dental amalgam since 2002 when first proposed by the FDA.

"The FDA has left the decision about dental treatment right where it needs to be—between the dentist and the patient," states ADA President Dr. John Findley. "This decision underscores what the ADA has long supported—a discussion between dentists and patients about the full range of treatment options to help patients make educated decisions regarding their dental care."

Dental amalgam is a cavity-filling material made by combining mercury with other metals such as silver, copper and tin. Numerous scientific studies conducted over the past several decades, including two large clinical trials published in the April 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association, indicate dental amalgam is a safe, effective cavity-filling material for children and others. And, in its 2009 review of the scientific literature on amalgam safety, the ADA's Council on Scientific Affairs reaffirmed that the scientific evidence continues to support amalgam as a valuable, viable and safe choice for dental patients."



The two studies mentioned in this ADA press release are free to download
(Click on the image for full text)

(1) Neuropsychological and renal effects in children whose dental caries were restored using amalgam or mercury-free materials

(2) Neurobehavioral effects of dental amalgam in children

Sunday, 9 August 2009

JCR Science edition 2008

Click here to view the full list of dental journals included in the 2008 Journal Citation Report (JCR). JCR is based on the Web of Science dataset from Thomson Reuters and includes citation data such as:
  • number of citations
  • impact factor
  • 5 year impact factor
  • cited half-life
These indicators allow the evaluation and comparison of journals from all areas of science, technology and social sciences. The given list of dental journals in the JCR corresponds to the Current Content for Dentistry, Oral surgery and Medicine.

Up-coming event

20th European Dental Materials Conference 2009
University of Manchester, UK
August 27-28, 2009

Invited speakers:

Dr Charles Lloyd [University of Dundee]
(NMR imaging of oral biomaterials)

Professor George Eliades [University of Athens]
(Characterization of dental composites by morphological and chemical techniques)

Dr Nicoleta Ilie [LM University of Munich]
(Dynamic mechanical nano-scale imaging of new resin-composite formulations)

Professor Alex Fok [University of Minnesota]
Image analysis and shrinkage correlation

Professor Arturo Natali [University of Padova]
Computational modelling of implant biomechanics

Dr Matthew German [University of Newcastle]
Raman and FTIR imaging in oral tissues

Dr Julian Satterthwaite [University of Manchester]
The clinical challenges of optimal materials selection and usage

Professor Albert Feilzer [ACTA, University of Amsterdam]
Understanding materials aspects of clinical performance and reliability of direct restoratives

Professor Matthias Kern [University of Kiel]
Understanding materials aspects of clinical performance and reliability of indirect restoratives

Dr Christina Mitchell [University of Belfast] Chair of:
* Clinicians’ panel – challenges for basic scientists and dental material manufacturers

More information on

Featured article

Degree of conversion of Filtek Silorane Adhesive System and Clearfil SE Bond within the hybrid and adhesive layer: An in situ Raman analysis.

Chiara O. Navarra, Milena Cadenaro, Steven R. Armstrong, Julie Jessop, Francesca Antoniolli, Valter Sergo, Roberto Di Lenarda and Lorenzo Breschi

Dental Materials 2009:25(9):1178-1185


Objectives: To examine the degree of conversion (DC) of the adhesive interfaces created by Filtek Silorane Adhesive and Clearfil SE Bond using micro-Raman spectroscopy.

Methods: The adhesives were applied on human dentin in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. Specimens were cut to expose the bonded interfaces to the micro-Raman beam (Ranishaw InVia; laser wl 785 nm). Raman spectra were collected along the dentin/self-etching primer/adhesive interface at 1 μm intervals. The relative intensities of bands associated with mineral (P–O functional group at 960 cm−1) and adhesive (C–C–O group at 605 cm−1) components within the bonded interface were used to detect monomer penetration into the dentin matrix and to calculate the degree of conversion (Cdouble bond; length as m-dashC at 1640 cm−1 as reaction peak, C–C–O at 605 cm−1 as reference peak). Data were statistically analyzed with two-way ANOVA.

Results: DC of Filtek Silorane Adhesive was 69 ± 7% in the adhesive layer, increasing (p<.05) to 93 ± 5% in the primer and 92 ± 9% in the hybrid layer. Clearfil SE Bond showed a DC of 83 ± 3% in the hybrid and 85 ± 3% in the adhesive layer. Thus, Filtek Silorane Adhesive showed a higher DC than Clearfil SE Bond in the hybrid layer (p<.05), but a lower DC in the adhesive (p<.05).

Significance: As high DC is a fundamental pre-requisite for the stability of the bond over time, this study supports the hypothesis that optimal stability of Filtek Silorane Adhesive can be obtained. However, further research is needed to investigate the mechanical properties of the hybrid layer created by Filtek Silorane Adhesive and its long-term stability.

IADR press release - Is Obesity an Oral Bacterial Disease?

"New research published in the June issue of the Journal of Dental Research
suggests that oral bacteria may contribute to the development of obesity.

The Journal of Dental Research is a multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the dissemination of new knowledge in all sciences relevant to dentistry and the oral cavity and associated structures in health and disease. At 3.966, the JDR holds the highest Five-Year Impact Factor of all dental journals publishing original research, with a cited half-life >10 years, reflecting the influential nature of the Journal’s content. It also has the highest Eigenfactor Score in the field.

The world-wide explosion of overweight people has been called an epidemic. The inflammatory nature of obesity is widely recognized. Could it really be an epidemic involving an infectious agent? In this climate of concern over the increasing prevalence of overweight conditions in our society, investigators have focused on the possible role of oral bacteria as a potential direct contributor to obesity.

To investigate this possibility, the study’s researchers J.M. Goodson, D. Groppo, S. Halem and E. Carpino measured salivary bacterial populations of overweight women. Saliva was collected from 313 women with a body mass index between 27 and 32, and bacterial populations were measured by DNA probe analysis. Levels in this group were compared with data from a population of 232 healthy individuals from periodontal disease studies. The median percentage difference of seven of the 40 bacterial species measured was greater than 2 percent in the saliva of overweight women. Classification tree analysis of salivary microbiological composition revealed that 98.4 percent of the overweight women could be identified by the presence of a single bacterial species (Selenomonas noxia) at levels greater than 1.05 percent of the total salivary bacteria. Analysis of these data suggests that the composition of salivary bacteria changes in overweight women.

It seems likely that these bacterial species could serve as biological indicators of a developing overweight condition. Of even greater interest, and the subject of future research, is the possibility that oral bacteria may participate in the pathology that leads to obesity."

Source: IADR