The International Team of Implantology has awarded three researchers at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics a two-year, $50,000 grant to study the epigenetic mechanisms leading to peri-implantitis.
Like periodontitis, peri-implantitis is characterized by the loss of alveolar bone beyond physiological limits, which makes it an irreversible condition and a complex problem to tackle, the researchers report. No single clinical strategy can treat it predictably, they add.
However, epigenetic modifications play a significant role in the development of diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, and autoimmune diseases. Their role in peri-implantitis, though, is not well characterized.
The researchers will study the epigenetic mechanisms underlying peri-implant pathologies using next-generation sequencing technology. Understanding these mechanisms may lead to novel and predictable preventive or therapeutic approaches, the researchers believe.
Shankar Rengasamy Venugopalan, DDS, associate professor in the Department of Orthodontics, will be the principal investigator. He will be joined by Satheesh Elangovan, DDS, professor with the Department of Periodontics and Erliang Zeng, PhD, associate professor in the Division of Biostatistics and Computational Biology.