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Dental Data Science

We leverage medical and dental data to improve patient outcomes and experiences across the UK. Our work is guided by fairness, transparency, honesty, and equality and our research is underpinned by quality and excellence.


The aims of our research group include:

  • undertaking biostatistics pedagogy research
  • undertaking research into dental images and signals, including 3D surface imaging
  • statistical analysis and research design support for staff and students in the School of Dentistry and beyond
  • applying deep learning and artificial intelligence to problems in dentistry and related fields, and the developing underlying maths formalism of artificial intelligence


Recent Grants Awarded

AmountTitleApplicantGrantYear of award
£1140An Exploration of Functional Analysis of Dynamical Changes in Biological ShapesDamian J.J. FarnellTravel Grant from the London Mathematical Society. Awarded in June 20222022
£9480How Do People Read “Designed To Smile” Information Leaflets? An Exploratory Mixed-Methods ApproachDamian J.J. FarnellInstitute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) as an Innovation Grant. Awarded in December 2021.2021


3D Surface Imaging and Shape Modelling

Our research group uses 3D facial imaging to explain facial variation (biological make-up, anatomy, facial surface morphology and function), and improve wellbeing and quantify facial variation for face-wear, facial identification, forensics and computer interface industries.

We also develop mathematical models of 3D facial shape, to achieve the aims above. For example, we developed a multilevel principal components analysis (mPCA) code that allows us to model different sources of variations at different levels of the model. Future directions will apply geometric deep learning to study shape representation and analysis.

COVID-19 bereavement

This joint study between universities in Bristol, Cardiff and beyond aims to understand the grief experiences and support needs of those who have been bereaved, either due to COVID-19 or another cause of death during the pandemic.

The study explores peoples' experiences and feelings of grief during their loved ones end of life, and what support they feel they needed, compared with what support they actually received.

Another survey was also carried out as part of this study to determine how bereavement services and support were affected during the pandemic.

The findings of this study were reported on ITV News, and Sky News.


Recent PhD Graduates

Mr. Sam Evans

Project: the use of novel imaging techniques to investigate paediatric bruises, paediatric bruise reporting procedures, and factors influencing bruising in children. (2022).

Dr. Jennifer Galloway

Project: 3D facial shape analysis. (2021).

Dr Nor Azlida Binti Mohd Nor

Project: impact of fluoride concentration in water supplies on oral health. (2018).

Next steps


Research that matters

Our research makes a difference to people’s lives as we work across disciplines to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy and our environment.


Postgraduate research

Our research degrees give the opportunity to investigate a specific topic in depth among field-leading researchers.


Our research impact

Our research case studies highlight some of the areas where we deliver positive research impact.