Prof. Nicola P T Innes

Professor of Paediatric Dentistry/Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching


Dental Hospital & School
Park Place
Dundee DD1 4HR

GDC No. 74843


Phone Number:

+44 (0)1382381 631

Email Address:

I am a Paediatric Dentist, teacher and researcher. My work is focussed on improving the way we manage the disease dental caries: how can we be less invasive, how can we make it easier for people (especially children) to cope with, how can we make dental care more effective, affordable and accessible.  I mainly work on clinical trials and systematic reviews. My nursing and dentistry background have given me a very patient-focussed outlook but I try to keep in mind the science behind what we do, and how oral health care could be improved for patients.
The specific areas I work in are:

  • Clinical trials testing different clinical management techniques for dental caries (my main area of interest here is in “sealing-in” caries, selective caries removal and the Hall Technique – what happens in terms of clinical and other outcomes?);
  • Patient (especially children’s) perceptions of the dental care we provide and how we can improve that - Child Friendly Dentistry;
  • Uptake of evidence by practitioners (how can we translate the evidence we produce to knowledge and then to action in dental practices);
  • Inequalities in dental care (such as dentistry for children with low access in countries such as Brazil and gypsy/ travellers);
  • Improving the standard of research produced within cariology; and
  • Systematic reviews related to cariology, paediatric dentistry and inequalities.


I have had an unusual career path, qualifying as a Registered General Nurse, working in neurosurgery in Edinburgh and gaining a BSc in Life Sciences from Napier University.

I came to the University of Dundee, graduating in Dentistry in 1998, having also obtained an intercalated degree in Molecular and Cellular Pathology.  I then spent a very enjoyable seven years as a general dental practitioner in Carnoustie and Forfar, before returning to join Child Dental Health at Dundee as a Lecturer.  My PhD investigated the Hall Technique, a method for managing carious primary molars that is becoming widely used across the globe.

As well as being Associate Editor of the Journal of Dental Research , I am Co-Associate Editor of the Evidence Based Dentistry Journal, I sit on the Scottish Dental Practice Based Research Network steering committee, a number of SDCEP and SIGN guidance development groups. I edit Wikipedia pages on Dentistry.

I am currently Chief Investigator on the FiCTION Dental Trial (Fillings in Children’s Teeth; Indicated or Not), and am involved in Germany, Brazil, Lithuania, Australia and New Zealand based dental trials.

Competitive Research Grants Awarded

  • 2014 - £362,330 - Department of Health, Policy Research Programme.  "Enhancing Gypsy/Traveller's trust; using maternity and early years' health services and dental health services as exemplars of mainstream service provision".
  • 2012 - £27,254 - Higher Education Academy: Motivational interviewing Techniques for Dental Students: Development and assessment of the effectiveness of an educational intervention.
  • 2011 - $147,826NZ - New Zealand Ministry of Research Science and Technology. "Feasibility study for an investigation into use of the Hall Technique for improving treatment outcomes with Dental Therapists in New Zealand".
  • 2011 - £10,000 - Queen’s Nursing Institute for Scotland. "Health Visitors’ role in assessing oral health in children: investigating dental neglect thresholds".
  • 2010 - £60,160 - British Orthodontic Society Fund. Co-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. Further information can be found at
  • 2010 - £5,000 - British Society for Oral and Dental Research Travel Award for Section of Preventive and Children’s Dentistry.
  • 2008 - £2,869,716 - Chief Investigator and joint Principal Investigator HTA Priority Area: 07/44 Treatment of caries in primary teeth FiCTION - Filling Children's Teeth: Indicated Or Not?
  • 2005 - £15,000 - Fluoride Bead Feasibility Study; EastRen co-applicant.
  • 2000 - £145,000 - Principal Investigator, CSO Primary Care Research Training Fellowship £105,000; 3M/ESPE £40,000.
  • 1996 - £1,500 - Unilever Oral Care Division Travel Award.

Other Research Grants Awarded

  • 2011 - £600 - Tattersall Scholarship: BMSc student support funds for project entitled, Microleakage quantification and relationship to marginal adaptation of Hall Technique fitted preformed metal crowns in extracted primary molar teeth
  • 2009 - £5000 - Tattersall Scholarship: Capacity building funding.
  • 2009 - £1,470 - Tattersall Scholarship: Pump priming funding for Clinical Fellowship application, "Investigation of the feasibility of collection, storage and transportation of carious biofilm samples, followed by extraction of microbial DNA of sufficient quality to allow high throughput metagenomic analysis using Human Oral Microbe Identification microarray".


  • Acting Academic Head of Department and curriculum developer: Undergraduate Child Dental Health programme, (lecture, lead tutorials, involved in setting and marking written examinations for 3rd, 4th and 5th BDS and lead OSCE for 4th BDS)
  • Clinical supervision and learning support for undergraduates
  • Lead curriculum developer: Undergraduate Evidence Based Dentistry and Clinical Informatics course
  • Contributor to Undergraduate final year Health Care Law and Professionalism
  • Responsible for development and maintenance of the Child Dental Health Section of “MyDundee” electronic educational resource for Undergraduate Students


  • Development and delivery of courses on Child Dental Health, Children’s Dentistry, Evidence Based Dentistry, Management of the Anxious Child and Cariology to general, specialist and training postgraduate dentists around the UK and abroad (Ireland, Holland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand)
  • E-Den Module Author for module (The Hall Technique) of the dental e-Learning for Healthcare package which is being developed by the Department of Health in partnership with the Professional Bodies and the NHS.

Borrie, FRP, Bearn, DR, Innes, NPT & Iheozor-Ejiofor, Z 2015, 'Interventions for the cessation of non-nutritive sucking habits in children' Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 3, CD008694. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008694.pub2

Rutter, J, Cunningham, K, Holmes, R, Maguire, A, Innes, N, Douglas, G, Clarkson, J, Freeman, R, McColl, E, Robertson, M & Marshman, Z 2017, 'FiCTION Filling Children’s Teeth: Indicated or Not? Integrating Qualitative Research' Paper presented at IADR General Session, San Francisco, United States, 22/03/17 - 25/03/17, .

Innes, N & Hurst, D 2012, 'GDC learning outcomes for the undergraduate dental curriculum' Evidence-Based Dentistry, vol 13, no. 1, pp. 2-3. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ebd.6400834

Ricketts, D, Lamont, T, Innes, NPT, Kidd, E & Clarkson, JE 2013, 'Operative caries management in adults and children' Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol 2013, no. 3, CD003808. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003808.pub3

Innes, NP, Evans, DJP & Stirrups, DR 2007, 'The Hall Technique; a randomized controlled clinical trial of a novel method of managing carious primary molars in general dental practice: acceptability of the technique and outcomes at 23 months' BMC Oral Health, vol 7, no. 18, pp. 1-72. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6831-7-18

Innes, NPT, Ricketts, D, Chong, LY, Keightley, AJ, Lamont, T & Santamaria, RM 2015, 'Preformed crowns for decayed primary molar teeth' Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol 2015, no. 12, CD005512. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005512.pub3

Ainine, S, Rutter, J, McFadden, A, Haggi, HM, Atkin, K, Bell, K, Gavine, A, Jones, H, MacGillivray, S, Siebelt, L & Innes, N 2017, 'Managing Barriers to Gypsy and Traveller Engagement With Dental Services' Paper presented at IADR General Session, San Francisco, United States, 22/03/17 - 25/03/17, .

Innes, NPT & Giannobile, WV 2014, 'The breadth of oral health research: translating to clinical practice' Journal of Dental Research, vol 93, no. 7, pp. 616-617. DOI: 10.1177/0022034514537648

Ricketts, DNJ & Innes, NPT 2011, To drill or not to drill? How much caries removal do we need? in CH Splieth (ed.), Revolutions in pediatric dentistry. Quintessence Publishing Co. Ltd, London.

Ricketts, D, Kidd, E, Innes, NPT & Clarkson, JE 2008, 'Complete or ultraconservative removal of decayed tissue in unfilled teeth' Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 4. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003808.pub2

Innes, NPT, Frencken, JE & Schwendicke, F 2016, 'Don't Know, Can't Do, Won't Change: Barriers to Moving Knowledge to Action in Managing the Carious Lesion' Journal of Dental Research, vol 95, no. 5, pp. 485-486. DOI: 10.1177/0022034516638512

Robertson, M, Harris, J, Innes, N & Rutter, J 2017, 'Use of the Hall Technique in Children With Learning Difficulties' IADR General Session, San Francisco, United States, 22/03/17 - 25/03/17, .

Innes, NPT & Ogden, GR 1999, 'A technique for the study of endocytosis in human oral epithelial cells' Archives of Oral Biology, vol 44, no. 6, pp. 519-523. DOI: 10.1016/S0003-9969(99)00027-8

Innes, N 2012, 'Quality of the published qualitative dental research is mediocre' Evidence-Based Dentistry, vol 13, no. 4, pp. 122. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ebd.6400903

Innes, NPT, Evans, DJP, Clarkson, JE & Foley, JI 2005, 'Obtaining an evidence-base for clinical dentistry through clinical trials' Primary Dental Care, vol 12, no. 3, pp. 91-96. DOI: 10.1308/1355761054348459

Innes, NPT, Frencken, JE, Bjørndal, L, Maltz, M, Manton, DJ, Ricketts, D, Van Landuyt, K, Banerjee, A, Campus, G, Doméjean, S, Fontana, M, Leal, S, Lo, E, Machiulskiene, V, Schulte, A, Splieth, C, Zandona, A & Schwendicke, F 2016, 'Managing carious lesions: consensus recommendations on terminology' Advances in Dental Research: an E-Supplement to Journal of Dental Research, vol 28, no. 2, pp. 49-57. DOI: 10.1177/0022034516639276

Schwendicke, F, Innes, N, Levey, C, Lamont, T & Göstemeyer, G 2017, 'Comparator choice in cariology trials limits conclusions on the comparative effectiveness of caries interventions' Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, vol 89, pp. 209-217. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2017.05.019

Innes, N 2007, 'Better outcomes in pulpotomies on primary molars with MTA: is mineral trioxide aggregate more effective than formocresol for primary molar pulpotomy?' Evidence-Based Dentistry, vol 8, no. 1, pp. 11-2. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ebd.6400464

Marshman, Z, Innes, N, Deery, C, Hall, M, Speed, C, Douglas, G, Clarkson, J & Rodd, H 2012, 'The management of dental caries in primary teeth: involving service providers and users in the design of a trial' Trials, vol 13, 143. DOI: 10.1186/1745-6215-13-143

Innes, NPT, Stirrups, DR, Evans, DJP, Hall, N & Leggate, M 2006, 'A novel technique using preformed metal crowns for managing carious primary molars in general practice — a retrospective analysis' British Dental Journal, vol 200, no. 8, pp. 451-454. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4813466

Frencken, JE, Innes, NPT & Schwendicke, F 2016, 'Managing carious lesions: why do we need consensus on terminology and clinical recommendations on carious tissue removal?' Advances in Dental Research: an E-Supplement to Journal of Dental Research, vol 28, no. 2, pp. 46-48. DOI: 10.1177/0022034516639272

Banerjee, A, Frencken, JE, Schwendicke, F & Innes, NPT 2017, 'Contemporary operative caries management: consensus recommendations on minimally invasive caries removal' British Dental Journal, vol 223, no. 3, pp. 215-222. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.672

Santamaria, RM, Innes, NPT, Machiulskiene, V, Evans, DJP, Alkilzy, M & Splieth, CH 2015, 'Acceptability of different caries management methods for primary molars in a RCT' International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, vol 25, no. 1, pp. 9-17. DOI: 10.1111/ipd.12097

Evans, DJP, Southwick, CAP, Foley, JI, Innes, NP, Pavitt, SH & Hall, N 2000, 'The Hall Technique: a pilot trial of a novel use of preformed metal crowns for managing carious primary teeth' Tuith Online.

Innes, NPT, Ricketts, D & Evans, DJP 2008, 'Preformed metal crowns for decayed primary molar teeth' Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol 1, no. 4, pp. CD005512. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005512.pub2


Invited International Lectures

  • University of Michigan September 2015. The FiCTION Trial; Making it FACT!
  • University of Iowa, September 2015. 1. Cochrane Reviews for Oral Health & 2. The Hall Technique as part of Minimal Intervention Dentistry.
  • International Association for Paediatric Dentistry, Glasgow. June 2015.  How Should We Prevent and Manage Dental Caries; What Are Children in Clinical Trials Telling Us?
  • Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.  June 2015.  Clinical management of caries in children.
  • Core Outcomes in Cariology Clinical Trials; Consensus Methodology.  International Cariology Consensus Conference Brussels 24th /25th February 2015
  • Danish Dental Association, Nyborg, Denmark.  “The Hall Technique for Managing Carious Primary Molars Sept 2014
  • 92nd General Session & Exhibition of the IADR. IADR Africa/Middle East Regional Meeting Cape Town, South Africa Invited Symposium Speaker at Clinical Trials and Methodology Development for Patient-Oriented Outcomes Symposium Patient-Oriented Outcomes in Cariology and Restorative Dentistry Clinical Trials; Should We Be Changing Our Focus?
  • Geneva University, Restorative and Paediatric Dentists‘ Group “New Approaches to Managing the Carious Primary Dentition” 28th May 2014.
  • Trinity College, Dublin, Specialists Group, “The Hall Technique” and “Using Evidence Day to Day”. 8th May 2014
  • Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile “Evidence and the Approaches for Managing the Carious Primary Dentition”; “Interpreting the Evidence” and “The Hall Technique” 12th March2014
  • Dutch Dental Society, Rotterdam “The Tooth in all its facets” November 2013
  • German Society for Paediatric Dentistry (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kinderzahnheilkunde) 14th/15th March 2013.  “The Hall Technique for Managing Carious Primary Molars”
  • Dutch Society of Paediatric Dentistry Symposium.  Netherlands, Nov 9th/10th 2012. “Management Strategies for the Carious Primary Dentition”
  • European Association for Paediatric Dentistry 2012. Invited Speaker (GABA Symposium). "Fluoride Programmes for Children"
  • New Zealand School and Community Oral Health Services Society Annual Meeting 2011. Keynote speaker; "A Child Centred Approach to Children’s Oral Health Care"
  • 2011 National Clinical Directors meeting in Waitangi, New Zealand. "Improving Delivery of Child Dental Care"
  • Australian Dental Association Victoria Board. Melbourne, Australia (30/31st July 2010). Key note speaker "A Practical Approach to Managing the Carious Primary Dentition - Child Friendly Dentistry in the UK"
  • Tasmania Oral Health Services (Launceston and Hobart 26th/28th July 2010). "Practical Solutions to Clinical Problems - Planning Treatment for the Child Patient" and "The Hall Technique for managing Carious Primary Molars - What, How, When and Why?"
  • Dutch Association of Paediatric Dentistry Symposium. Amsterdam, Netherlands 2009. "Alternative strategies for oral health care in (special-need) children"
  • Irish Health Service Executive Dental Staff 2008. Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. "Managing the Carious Primary Dentition"
  • Minnesota University Dental School. May 2010. "Paediatric Dentistry in the UK; Where does the Hall Technique fit in?"

Invited Lectures at National Meetings

  • Faculty of General Dental Practitioners 2014 Royal College of Surgeons, London Friday 5th Nov.  “Essentials of Research Methodology; Putting Together the Protocol”.
  • British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy 2014 Edinburgh Sat 4th Oct.  “Managing Caries in Children; Evidence Based Approaches”.
  • British Dental Conference and Exhibition 2013 ExCel, London 25th to 27th April.  “Dental Caries: New Approaches to Managing the Auld Enemy”.
  • National Conference for the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry 2012.  Keynote Speaker.  “Current Trends in Primary Caries Management”.
  • British Association of Dental Therapists National Conference Cumberland Hotel, London, 2010. The Hall Technique; How Can It Help My Patients?
  • British Dental Conference and Exhibition. SECC, Glasgow, UK, 2009. Plenary Session Speaker. Pathways of Care for Children with Dental Caries; Improving acceptability and outcomes through changing priorities, and understanding the disease.
  • British Society of Paediatric Dentistry Conference, Methods Behind the Madness. London, UK, September 2007. Key note speaker: Managing Dental Caries: Evidence for a New Approach - The Hall Technique.
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Spring Meeting. Glasgow, UK, March 2007. Clinical Management of Dental Caries: Legends, Conventions, and Evidence for a New Approach.
  • Primary Care Annual Symposium 2006. Hallam University, Sheffield, UK. Evidence Based Strategies for Managing the Primary Dentition.