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Dental Public Health Unit

Our research aims to inform and improve dental health and care across Wales and beyond, and contribute to the evidence base for effective preventive dental care.

Our research focuses on oral health improvement. Our portfolio of research ranges from clinical trials of preventive dental technologies, to studies designed to further understand, and address, oral health inequalities and projects to improve the delivery of dental care.

The COVID-19 pandemic, cost of living crisis, and issues around workforce recruitment and retention have created a “perfect storm” for the delivery of dental care.  Access to NHS dental care is a major issue that is receiving significant media coverage, with newspaper headlines relating to “dentistry in crisis” or “DIY-dentistry” dominating the media in 2022.

We are involved in a range of research projects which aim to enhance the evidence base for improving oral health and delivering dental care. While our work is based in Wales and we have a particular interest in oral health in the Principality, our collaborations and the outcome of our work is of relevance locally, nationally and internationally.


Our aim is to undertake research from a population perspective, which will:

  • inform dental health and care need in Wales and beyond
  • contribute to the evidence base for effective preventive dental care
  • change how dental care is delivered to maximise benefit for patients and public

Selected publications


We collaborate with a number of organisations and partners to achieve our research aims, including:

Public Health Wales

We work closely with colleagues in Public Health Wales to ensure a seamless approach to the translation of research evidence into oral health improvement and service delivery in Wales.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Community Dental Service

We work with colleagues in the Community Dental Service on the delivery and evaluation of preventive dental programmes.

Wales Primary and Emergency Care Research Centre (PRIME)

The Oral and Dental Research Package in the PRIME Centre is led by the Dental Public Health team.

Academic staff

Professor Ivor Chestnutt

Professor Ivor Chestnutt

Professor and Hon. Consultant in Dental Public Health

+44 29207 46680
Dr Anwen Cope

Dr Anwen Cope

Senior Clincial Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health

Dr Emma Barnes

Dr Emma Barnes

Research Associate


Members of unit are responsible for teaching and training in Dental Public Health at all levels.

All current Consultants and Hon Consultants in Dental Public Health in Wales have trained in the unit.