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Research - Core Facilities

Oral Microbiology Laboratory


The Oral Microbiology Laboratory (OML) located at the UNC School of Dentistry provides diagnostic clinical microbiology, microbiological research, microbiology training and sterilization monitoring services to both the School of Dentistry and the community of dental practitioners in the state of North Carolina and surrounding geographic area. These services are specifically related to oral microbiology and its application to the following: recognition and assessment of oral bacterial populations in oral flora studies, post treatment of oral infection, bacterial test for caries risk, and the monitoring of sterilization equipment unique to the dental practice. Sterilization monitoring services are also provided for a number of non-dental clients. In addition to these services this unit has been responsible for monitoring the water quality in the School of Dentistry's dental unit water lines for bacterial contamination. OML is presently in the process of developing protocols to extend this service to the dental community. For more information on sterilization see Sterilization Monitoring Service.

The OML at the UNC-CH School of Dentistry provides:

The OML has a technical, scientific & administrative staff of six personnel to perform the above services. The CDS handles over 1,000 patient samples per annum, and the SMS handles about 900 subscribers per annum, with daily analyses of 160 SMS samples/day.

The Oral Microbiology Laboratory (OML) accepts oral bacteriological specimens (plaque, surgical, aspirates and saliva) from the clinical departments and from the faculty practice of the school, as well as, from private practitioners in the community for the culture, identification and quantitation of oral pathogens. Aerobic and anaerobic cultures are prepared using selective media to facilitate the isolation of potential pathogens from normal flora. Specific pathogens associated with various forms of periodontal disease are identified and antibiotic sensitivities and b-lactamase production are determined to assist the clinician in appropriate interventive strategies. All isolates from surgical, wound and lesion cultures are treated as potential pathogens and identified to the species level.


Culture/with susceptibility testing $125.00
Follow-up Cultures/without susceptibility testing $80.00
Caries Activity Testing $20.00
Candida Culturing $15.00


Email address:


Oral Microbiology Laboratory Staff
Phone: 919-537-3341
Fax: 919-966-5789
UNC-CH School of Dentistry
3030 Old Dental Building, CB #7457
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7457

Last Modified: 07/10/2012