Thirty one million dollars has been assigned for an Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre (Oral Health CRC) at the University of Melbourne, putting Australia as a world-leader in oral health research.
The new centre will continue the work that the existing Cooperative Research Centre for Oral Health Science to discover and design new preventive products and treatments for oral diseases such as dental decay and gum disease. Currently these diseases are costing Australians about $6billion a year.
The Cooperative Research Centre includes manufacturing and research partners from Australia and also abroad who will create professional and commercial dental products and treatments. These will include diagnostic tools as well as a vaccine against periodontitis.
The research programs of the Oral Health CRC will focus on diagnosing and preventing oral disease, and the links to systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Researchers will also be able to test and commercialise the current CRC’s recent scientific discoveries with the government funding. The funding will also enable investigation into new technologies for lost and damaged teeth regeneration.
The grant will also be used to brand a tooth safe logo. The logo is being created to tell consumers about food and drink that are teeth-safe.
The centre’s researchers will also look at how shortages in the dental workforce can be lessened, and how oral health promotion based on evidence can lessen the need for clinical treatment.
Anti-decay products that have already been developed within the current centre are already being used in food and drink oral care products around the world.