Dental Enamel Defects Study - Wesley Research Institute
Wesley Research Institute

A/Prof Daveson and his team at Wesley Research Institute are working closely with a paediatric dentist, Dr Daniel Ford (specialist in enamel defects),to investigate the incidence of Coeliac Disease inpatients presenting with dental enamel defects.

Research Objectives



Estimated completion

December 2023

Total participants required


Study location

Dental Clinic

About this clinical trial

Early diagnosis of coeliac disease is important considering the lifelong effects of coeliac disease, such as 3-fold increased risk of autoimmune disease e.g., type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis, malignancy and a decreased quality of life.

Underachievement in education and working life, including a lower likelihood of obtaining a university is also more common in coeliac disease sufferers. Compounding this, there is often a long delay between presentation with symptoms of coeliac disease and diagnosis, with the progression of unrecognised ill health.  It is known that coeliac diseases can cause developmental defects of tooth enamel in children.

In 2022, A/Prof Daveson and Dr Ford co-designed a study framework in consultation with dental clinics to ensure that the study complies with the highest ethical standards, given families are often distressed by dental visits for their children in early life.

Hence, A/Prof Daveson and his team at Wesley Research Institute are working closely with a paediatric dentist, Dr Daniel Ford (specialist in enamel defects), to investigate the incidence of Coeliac Disease in patients presenting with dental enamel defects.

300 children with developmental defects of tooth enamel, presenting in a paediatric dental clinic will be invited to undergo a point of care test which provides a 95% specificity to provide a result for Coeliac Disease in 10 minutes.

This study will hopefully confirm that the dental enamel defects are caused by gluten exposure and an appropriate gluten-free diet regimen would reverse the defect in these children.

Uniquely, this study is also an opportunity to establish and validate a screening program that offers accurate and cost-effective testing that can be applied in dental clinics across Australia.

Are dental enamel defects observed in children with early signs of coeliac disease?


Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Children and young people aged 2-18 years with dental enamel defects of enamel identified by dental review
  2. Consuming gluten in their diet daily basis

Additional information

You can find out more about the Dental Enamel Defect Study by visiting ANZCTR website (currently being finalised) and the Coeliac Australia website

Lead investigators

  • A/Prof James Daveson

Technical title

Evaluating the prevalence of Coeliac Disease in children with Developmental Defects of Enamel

We are not currently taking applications for this clinical trial - as mentioned above, if you are interested in finding out more visit the ANZCTR website or Coeliac Australia

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