Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Oral Biology



First Committee Member

Clifford C. Seran, Chair

Second Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Third Committee Member

Katherine Howard

Graduate Faculty Representative

Patricia Cruz Perez

Number of Pages



The overall purpose of this research project is to explore the link between oral health and disease in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas - School of Dental Medicine (UNLV-SDM) clinic patient population. More specifically, the population of interest is the UNLV-SDM orthodontic clinic patient population, which is mostly composed of adults, females, and minorities. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Dental Medicine, with more than 70,000 active patients and a post-graduate specialty program in Orthodontics is uniquely positioned to perform this type of oral health epidemiology survey, as well as targeted oral microbial testing among populations within the clinic and the local community.

A UNLV Office of Research Integrity - Human Subjects Exemption (OPRS#1104-3801M - Retrospective Evaluation of Microbial Presence in Existing Saliva Repository: A PCR-Based Molecular Survey of Oral Microbial Populations from Existing Saliva Samples ) was filed and approved May 10, 2011 to facilitate the use of an existing saliva database of more than one hundred clinical samples that have already been collected from adult patients in the UNLV-SDM clinic, including patients from the orthodontic clinic. These saliva samples contain DNA representative of the host (human), as well as any endogenous microbial flora (bacteria, viruses). Analysis of these samples to test for microbial presence, as well as quantitative analysis of microbial burden will provide UNLV-SDM clinicians with information about the types of public health interventions that may be needed to serve the local population.

This project will attempt to determine if there are oral microbial burden differences within the patient population that could positively or negatively influence their orthodontic needs. Variables to be assessed will include: gender, age, and ethnicity. No previous survey of this population has been attempted; therefore, this study will be among the first to report on the oral microbial burden within this patient pool.


Biological sciences; Epidemiology; Gingivalis; Health and environmental sciences; Microbial; Mouth — Microbiology; Mutans; Orthodontics; PCR; Public health; Saliva – Microbiology


Dental Public Health and Education | Microbiology | Oral Biology and Oral Pathology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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