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Barwon Health / Research

(03) 4215 0000

Oral Health

Oral health is essential to general health and well-being at every stage of life. The mouth serves as a “window” to the rest of the body, providing signals of general health disorders, while oral conditions themselves can also have an impact on overall health and disease, such as bacteria from the mouth causing infection in other parts of the body.

Research is an integral part of Oral Health Services at Barwon Health. Research aligned with performance measures allows the service to monitor where and how our dental care can best promote good oral health, and evaluates new public health initiatives, especially in rural and regional communities.

Research Areas

Collaborating Organisations

Child and Community Wellbeing Unit

University of Melbourne

La Trobe University Dental Health Services Victoria Australian Network for Integration of Oral Health  

Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne

Murdoch Children's Research Institute Adams School of Dentistry, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA Department of Odontology, Section of Paedodontics, Umeå, Sweden Bristol Dental School, University of Bristol, UK  


Research Staff

Research Team


Research Grants

  • University of Melbourne Research Grant and an Alliance for a Cavity Free Future (ACFF) grant - $35,936.00


Featured Publications

Antibacterial management effect for community dentistry through staff education in the Greater Geelong region of Australia. MC Smith, Jacqueline Pawlak, L Carroll, S Lewis. Dentistry. 2021; 11(12) No: 1000612.

Are Australian parents following feeding guidelines that will reduce their child's risk of dental caries? [Abstract only]. Martin-Kerry J, Gussy M, Gold L, Calache H, Boak R, Smith M, de Silva A. Child: Care, Health and Development. 2020; 46(4): 495-505.

Measuring adherence to evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. [NOTE - Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract].Clark R, Tonmukayakul U, Mangan Y, Smith M, Gussy M, Manton D, Bailey D, Calache H. Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice. 2017;17: 301-309.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Embracing change in dental practice to deliver better health outcomes - a type 2 diabetes screening and oral health pilot program. Rogers MJ, Pawlak JA, Sharp S, Law S, Carroll L, Sharp S, Dunning T, Smith M. Dentistry. 2017;7: 454.

Cited By

The prevalence of caries free deciduous teeth upon visual examination in kindergarten settings: a preventative approach to oral health for children in a regional/rural community in South-West Victoria. [NOTE - Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract]. Rogers MJ, Pawlak JA, Mason A, Mayze L, Sharp S, Smith M. Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2016;1(2): 1-5.

Cited By

Choosing foods for infants: a qualitative study of the factors that influence mothers. [Abstract only; Barwon Health staff can request full text from Library]. Boak R, Virgo-Milton M, Hoare A, de Silva A, Gibbs L, Gold L, Gussy M, Calache H, Smith M, Waters E. Child: Care, Health and Development. 2016;42(3): 359-369.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Protocol for the Hall Technique study: a trial to measure clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of stainless steel crowns for dental caries restoration in primary molars in young children. [NOTE - Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract]. Tonmukayakul U, Martin R, Clark R, Brownbill J, Manton D, Hall M, Armfield J, Smith M, Shankumar R, Sivasithamparam K, et al. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2015;44: 36-41.

Cited By   Citation in Context

A preventative approach to oral health for children in a regional/rural community in South-West Victoria, Australia. Mason A, Mayze L, Pawlak J, Henry MJ, Sharp S, Smith M. Dentistry. 2015;05: 313.

Cited By

Audit of gross decay treatment in young children under general anaesthetic. Pawlak JA, Calache H, de Silva AM, Henry MJSmith M. Dentistry. 2015;5: 302.

Cited By

A qualitative study of the factors that influence mothers when choosing drinks for their young children. Hoare A, Virgo-Milton M, Boak R, Gold L, Waters E, Gussy M, Calache H, Smith M, de Silva AM. BMC Research Notes. 2014;7: 430.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Splash! : a prospective birth cohort study of the impact of environmental, social and family-level influences on child oral health and obesity related risk factors and outcomes. de Silva-Sanigorski AM, Waters E, Calache H, Smith M, Gold L, Gussy M, Scott A, Lacy K, Virgo-Milton M. BMC Public Health. 2011;11: 505.

Cited By   Citation in Context

Reducing obesity in early childhood: Results from Romp & Chomp, an Australian community-wide intervention program. [NOTE - Full text for Barwon Health staff; public can view abstract]. de Silva-Sanigorski AM, Bell AC, Kremer P, Nichols M, Crellin M, Smith M, Sharp S, de Groot F, Carpenter L, Boak R, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91: 831-840.

Cited By   Citation in Context


Support Our Research


Clinical trials require ongoing investment and there are several ways to support this amazing work.

You can make a donation today and contribute to an item on our research wish list, consider a bequest in your will, or establish a lasting legacy fund in your name. No matter what size, your philanthropic support with deliver an immediate impact.

To donate now or for more information and further discuss your support, please contact the Barwon Health Foundation.

Last Modified: Monday, 04 September 2023

Research Lead


Affiliate Associate Professor Michael Smith

Director, Oral Health Services
Newcomb Community Health Centre
104-108 Bellarine Hwy, Newcomb, Vic 3219
Phone: (03) 4215 7620