Clinical Research

Walter, Ricardo_4.5x6x300

Dr. Ricardo Walter Clinical Associate Professor Clinical Research Director

The original Operative Dentistry Clinical Research Unit (OD-CRU) was planned and implemented by Clifford M. Sturdevant in 1969. As part of implementing that plan, Karl F. Leinfelder was hired and directed the OD-CRU, acquired a wide variety of research contracts and grants, developed most of the contemporary research procedures and protocols, established a wide base of collaborations with U.S. dental companies, and trained the department as clinical research investigators. Aldridge D. Wilder assumed the responsibility as the OD-CRU director in 1983 and held that position until transitioning into the school’s academic affairs unit in 2009. Andre Ritter was the OD-CRU director from 2009 until 2016. In his last year in the role, Dr. Ritter also was the chair of the Department of Operative Dentistry. Recently, Rick Walter took over for Dr. Ritter and has been its steward.

Since its inception in 1969, the OD-CRU has managed more than 50 long-term clinical research trials. Composite resins, bonding agents, tooth whitening, tooth sensitivity, caries prevention, and ceramic restorations are some of the topics that have been investigated in trials ranging from a few months to 20 years. Current projects involving faculty and residents as well as projects in collaboration with other institutions are underway. With the goal of increasing the variety of projects and collaboration between faculty, residents, and visiting scholars, our OD-CRU will continue to seek answers to relevant clinical questions that may improve the practice of restorative dentistry.


Ongoing Projects

  • Clinical investigation of a new bulk-fill composite resin in the restoration of posterior teeth.
  • Clinical annual failure rate of direct posterior composite resin restorations at the DDS clinics at UNC: A retrospective study.
  • Clinical investigation of universal adhesives in non-carious cervical lesions.
  • Clinical investigation of bulk-fill composite resins in the restoration of posterior teeth.
  • Clinical investigation of a new bulk-fill flowable composite in the restoration of non-carious cervical lesions.


Recent Publications

  • Abdulmajeed AA, Donovan TE, Cooper LF, Walter R, Sulaiman T. Failure of layered-zirconia restorations at 5 years: A dental laboratory survey. J Prosthet Dent, in print.
  • Sulaiman T, Abdulmajeed AA, Cooper LF, Donovan TE, Walter R. Fracture rate of monolithic zirconia restorations up to 5 years: A dental laboratory survey. J Prosthet Dent 2016; 116:436-439.
  • Boushell LW, Heymann HO, Ritter AV, Sturdevant JR, Swift EJ Jr., Wilder AD Jr., Chung Y, Lambert CA, Walter R. Six-year clinical performance of etch-and-rinse and self-etch adhesives. Dent Mater 2016; 32:1065-1072.
  • Farias D, Andrada MAC, Boushell LW, Walter R. Assessment of the initial and aged dentin bond strength of universal adhesives. Int J Adhes Adhes 2016; 70:53-61.


List of published work (Walter R)