RESEARCH BLOG: Dental Research Led by Dean Kyrkanides
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Twenty-five years ago, Stephanos Kyrkanides began a project during his orthodontic residency studying asymmetries in children born with cleft lip and palate. It was this project that sparked the realization for him that research is crucial, that has been a driving force throughout his career.
“It was through the cleft lip/palate project and others that I came to the realization that research is the main engine in producing new, original knowledge so we can advance our science, both in medicine and dentistry, in order to improve patient care,” Kyrkanides said.
Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, Kyrkanides is both a dentist and neuroscientist. He came to UK last year from Stony Brook University.
During his early training in orofacial pain and temporomandibular joint disorders, Kyrkanides was assigned to a project to understand how pathogenesis of internal derangements in the temporomandibular joint created pain. This project led Kyrkanides to devote his life to finding answers and improving the quality of life of the 90 percent of people, over age 65, who suffer with temporomandibular joint arthritis.
Currently, Kyrkanides and his team are researching regenerative dentistry and are working to prove that dental enamel and fillings can be made out of patients’ cells. This would eliminate having to use plastic, metal or glass for dental reconstruction.
For more on Kyrkanides, his research and his vision for the UK College of Dentistry, watch the video above.