Professor David R Bearn

Professor of Orthodontics/Associate Dean for Internationalisation


Division of Oral Health Sciences
Dental Hospital & School
Park Place
Dundee DD1 4HR

Phone Number:

+44 (0)1382635 978

Email Address:
  • Professor of Orthodontics
  • College Head of Learning & Teaching
  • Head of College Graduate School
  • Co-Director Tayside Clinical Trials Unit

David Bearn is Professor of Orthodontics at the University of Dundee.

He trained in Sheffield, then undertook his specialty orthodontic training in Newcastle and Carlisle before moving to Manchester where he completed his PhD in cleft lip and palate treatment outcomes.

His current research interests are in RCTs of orthodontic treatment, with particular reference to self-ligating systems and micro-implants.

He is Co-Director of Tayside Clinical Trials Unit and has 4 multi-centre RCTs currently active in addition to local single site trials.

He has published widely and, during his time as Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester led the development and implementation of The Manchester Dental Programme, an enquiry based integrated undergraduate dental curriculum.

His interest in learning & teaching have led to him being appointed in January 2012 as College Head of Learning & Teaching for the College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, and Head of the College Graduate School.

Outside work he enjoys family life with his 3 children, supporting Newcastle United Football Club, reading trashy novels and seeking out good restaurants.

Research interests are related to the effective and efficient delivery of orthodontic and related care within primary and secondary care settings.

Current activities are systematic reviewing including Cochrane reviews into digit sucking, self-ligating orthodontic treatment and retention strategies.

Current Randomised clinical trials:

  • Self-ligating appliances and conventional appliances
  • 018 and 022 orthodontic appliances
  • Tooth Mousse for post orthodontic white spots
  • Mini-screws for orthodontic anchorage
  • British Orthodontic Society Fund. Chief Investigator. "SIXES: Should I eXtract Every SiX? A randomised control trial" To determine whether compensating extraction of maxillary first permanent molars following loss of mandibular first permanent molars in children is of benefit.Extraction of first molars in the mixed dentition. Further information can be found at


I deliver clinical teaching to undergraduate dental students on 3 clinical treatment sessions per week, either with 4th year students delivering simple treatments or 5th year students observing and assisting with complex treatment. In addition I deliver 45 seminars and 4 lectures in the orthodontic course.


I supervise up to six postgraduate trainees on both NHS specialty training programmes and international graduate students. I contribute to the Scotland Wide Orthodontic Programme, delivering 3 half day seminars to all Scottish trainees each year. In addition I supervise Masters projects for PG students.

Chair of the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship Examination Board & Examiners from Jan 2012, having been an examiner and Board member since 2007.

Graduate School

As Head of Graduate School I oversee the team involved in quality assuring all the award bearing graduate programmes in the College, both taught and research, with the aim of ensuring the College produces high quality graduate students who have had an excellent student experience.

Co-Chair of TASC Training Committee

This committee sets the strategic goals for the training activity within TASC to equip Tayside clinical researchers and research support staff with the skills and knowledge to deliver high quality research within the legal framework governing clinical trials.

BORRIE FRP, ELOUAFKAOUI & BEARN DR (2013) A Scottish cost analysis of interceptive orthodontics for thumb sucking habits. J Orthodontics

BORRIE F, BEARN, D. (2011) Early correction of anterior crossbites: a systematic review. J of Orthodontics, Vol 38, 2011, 175-184

CUNNINGHAM S, BEARN D, BENSON P, JOHAL A, MILLETT D, O'BRIEN K & LUTHER F (2011) In search of the sample: recent experiences of a trial team in orthodontics.. Contemp Clin Trials Jul 32(4), 530-4

ALMASOUD A, BEARN D (2010) Little's irregularity index: photographic assessment vs study model assessment

BEARN D, CHADWICK S. (2010) Problem-based learning in postgraduate dental education: a qualitative evaluation of students’ experience of an orthodontic problem-based postgraduate programme. European Journal of Dental Education. 14(1), 26-34.

ELAYYAN, F., SILIKAS, N., BEARN, D. (2010) Mechanical properties of coated superelastic archwires in conventional and self-ligating orthodontic brackets. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2010 Feb, 137(2), 213-217

O'BRIEN K, WRIGHT J, CONBOY F, APPELBE P, BEARN D, CALDWELL S, HARRISON J & TURBILL E (2009) Prospective, multi-centre study of the effectiveness of orthodontic/orthognathic surgery care in the UK Amer J Orthod & Dentofacial Orthopaedics 135, 709-714

RILEY, M., BEARN, D.R. 2009 A systematic review of clinical trials of aligning archwires.  Journal of Orthodontics 36,  42-51

ELAYYAN, F., SILIKAS, N., BEARN, D. (2008) Ex vivo surface and mechanical properties of coated orthodontic archwires  European Journal of Orthodontics 30, 661-667

OLIVER, R., KERSTEN, H., VINKKA-PUHAKKA, H., ALPASAN, G., BEARN, D., CEMA, I., DELAP, E., WHITE, D. (2008) Curriculum structure: Principles and strategy. European Journal of Dental Education 12 (SUPPL. 1), 74-84

SMITH, J., BEARN, D.R., HOUSE, K. 2008 Self-ligating orthodontic braces for straightening teeth Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2), art. no. CD007159

Academic invitations to Present at National and International Conferences:

  • Dental Education: a change of direction
    4th International meeting on Dentistry and Oral Medicine, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, April 2006
  • Dental Education: critical thinking and the challenge of assessment
    5th International meeting on Dentistry and Oral Medicine, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, April 2007
  • Current concepts in contemporary orthodontics
    5th International meeting on Dentistry and Oral Medicine, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, April 2007
  • The Damon Appliance: an open and shut case?
    British Orthodontic Society Spring Conference, York, May 2007
  • Occlusal considerations in extraction of first molars
    International Association of Paediatric Dentistry, London, September 2007
  • Self ligation: fact or friction?
    British Orthodontic Conference, Harrogate, September 2007
  • Extraction of first molars: an orthodontic perspective
    Dutch Society for Paediatric Dentistry, Amsterdam, March 2008
  • The Damon Appliance: an open and shut case?
    Orthodontic Society of Ireland, Galway, November, 2008
  • Self ligation: fact or friction?
    Damon UK Forum, London, June, 2009
  • Damon: the current evidence base
    Damon European Forum, Monaco, June, 2010
  • Possibilities with the Twin Block Appliance
    British Orthodontic Society, Edinburgh, 2009
  • ‘Introduction to Learning & Teaching’
    British Orthodontic Society, Faculty on 2 day course, June 2010
  • In, out, shake it all about: the National TAD Audit
    British Orthodontic Conference, Brighton, 2010
  • Damon: the current evidence base
    Damon UK Forum, London, October, 2010
  • Curriculum Design lecture & workshop
    University of Manchester New Academics Programme, October, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Clinical Trials in Orthodontics
    Damon European Forum, Cannes, October 2012