Departmental faculty are engaged in a variety of clinical, basic and translational research programs.  A main thrust of the research effort is in dental biomaterials, where the faculty have maintained a strong profile for over 40 years.  Over the years, pioneering research has been conducted in the areas of dental casting alloys (fit and accuracy), dental investment materials (expansion characteristics), dental cements (intraoral solubility), dental amalgam (properties, clinical performance and mercury release), and dental composites (structure-property relations, curing contraction stress generation, and clinical performance).  Recent efforts are involved in a variety of studies, including quantifying the esthetic characteristics of dental composites, evaluating the effectiveness of dental bonding agents, comparing the clinical efficacy of different tooth whitening methods, studying the fit of CAD/CAM restorations, evaluating the durability of esthetic coatings for dental metal surfaces, developing bioactive glasses for use as tissue engineering scaffolds and tooth remineralizing agents, studying techniques for incorporating the scientific method and critical thinking skills in the dental curriculum, and developing and operating practice-based research networks for conducting clinical studies within a coordinated group of private dental practices.