J. Robert Kelly, DDS. MS. D.Med.Sc.


The Slippery Slope ? Critical Perspectives on In Vitro
Research Methodologies


Many in vitro research methods have become so familiar as to have escaped critical thinking regarding their meaning for providing insights into clinical behavior or even the veracity of their physics.  Among these are microleakage testing, bulk failure of prostheses, wear tests, surrogate measures of translucency and bond strength testing.  Aspects of each of these will be examined with an eye towards whether critical features of clinical performance are indeed being mimicked.  An insight will also be provided regarding whether a ?controlled trial? can be the ?gold standard? in clinical testing of restorative materials and prostheses.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review the history of in vitro testing in dentistry;
  • Explore two main types of in vitro data with an eye toward both good and questionable usage;
  • Be introduced to two reliable and user-friendly sources of clinically-based evidence for making practice decision.


J. Robert Kelly teaches graduate prosthodontics and biomaterials and is Director, Center for Advanced Technology Integration at the University of Connecticut Health Center.  His academic credentials include the D.D.S., an M.S. in dental materials science, the D.Med.Sc. in oral biology and a Certificate in prosthodontics.  He has served on the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Dental Association (ADA),is Convener of the International Standardization Organization working group responsible for dental ceramics, Vice Chairman of the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Products and President, American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics.  Dr. Kelly has received awards for biomedical research (Harvard), research and post-graduate education (Assoc. Military Surgeons of the U.S.) and as a clinician/scholar (Amer. College of Prosthodontists).  He has contributed to dental, engineering, and medical literature, holds eight patents, frequently lecturers before national and international dental and engineering organizations, still does some of his own porcelain and keeps his fingers wet practicing prosthodontics.