Centre for Oral Health Research

Staff Profile

Dr Christopher Vernazza

NIHR Clinician Scientist/Clinical Lecturer



I am an academic paediatric dentist researching in the field of health services research, specifically health economics and undertaking clinical higher specialty training in Paediatric Dentistry. I am currently the holder of a prestigious 5 year NIHR funded Clinician Scientist Fellowship investigating the application of economic tools in dental policy making (commissioning) in the NHS (the RAINDROP study). I am also involved in teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

Follow me on twitter @chrisvernazza

My publications are detailed on the publication tab but the full text for many of these is available in the Newcastle e-prints repository

Roles and Responsibilities


Theme lead for Centre for Oral Health Research Oral Healthcare and Epidemiology Theme

Oral and Dental Specialty Group Lead, NIHR North East and North Cumbria Clinical Research Network  

Member, Centre for Oral Health Research Executive and COHR Strategy Group

External Fellows Representative, Newcastle University Clinical Academic Office/Health Education England North East

Reviewer for: Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Dental Research, Journal of Dental Research - Clinical and Translational Research, International Endodontic Journal, Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, BMC Oral Health, Community Dental Health, Journal of Dentistry, NIHR (Programme Grants), MRC (New Investigator Grants), ESRC (Knowledge Exchange Opportunities)


Course leader, BDS Paediatric Dentistry Academic Course

Member, Curriculum Committee, MSc in Orthodontics

Board of examiners: BDS Stage 5 (Finals)


  • Member, Dental eportfolio working group
  • Member, Northern Deanery Foundation Programme/Undergraduate Interface Group                   
  • Chair, Recruitment of paediatric patients for BDS and Hygiene Therapy Working Group
  • Dental Students' Society Staff President
  • Member, BDS Admissions Panel


Member, British Society of Paediatric Dentistry Policy and Clinical Effectiveness Committee

Member, North East and North Cumbria Paediatric Dentistry NHS England Commissioning Review


  • Member, NHS England Paediatric Dentistry Commissioning Guide Working Group
  • Chair &  Secretary, British Society of Paediatric Dentistry Northern Branch
  • Chair, British Society of Paediatric Dentistry 2012 National Conference Organising Committee
  • Member, National Council, British Society of Paediatric Dentistry
  • Trainees representative, Northern Deanery Paediatric Dentistry Specialty Training Committee  
  • Member, Scientific Committee, International Association of Paediatric Dentistry 2015 Congress


  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery (Sheffield, 2004)
  • Member of Faculty of Dental Surgery (RCS Edinburgh, 2006)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Newcastle, 2008)
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (2009)
  • PhD (Newcastle, 2011)
  • Membership in Paediatric Dentistry (RCS England, 2014)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Health Economics (Distinction, U Aberdeen, 2017)

Previous Positions

  • NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer - Newcastle Dental Hospital/Newcastle University 2011-2015
  • Clinical Fellow in Child Dental Health - Newcastle University 2006-11
  • General Professional Trainee - Newcastle Dental Hospital and Dental Practice in Gateshead 2004-6

Informal Interests

Singing with various groups including the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia and Voices of Hope

Youth volunteer work as a trustee and leader with Oakley Holidays


Research Interests

My main interest is in applying economic techniques in oral health and the study of decision making in oral health. This involves a variety of work across a wide range of dental disciplines, although the work is concentrated around replacements for missing teeth, root canal treatment (endodontics), periodontal treatment, orthodontics and preventive care. Two key areas of current work are the application of preference based valuations to dental health including using one such measure, willingness to pay (WTP) in the dental context and secondly, using economics based priority setting tools in policy decision making (commissioning). 

This work has bridged health economics, dental health research and policy with key links with NHS England established. I have also furthered my interest in policy by becoming a member of the Newcastle University Policy Academy. 

I also have an interest in applying qualitative methods in understanding dental decision making from both the patient and professional points of view. 

Finally, I am involved in dental epidemiology. For example, I was involved in the decennial UK Child Dental Health Survey.

Recent Funding

National Institute of Health Research, Clinician Scientist Fellowship. RAINDROP:Resource Allocation in NHS Dentistry: Recognition of Societal Preferences. Principal Investigator/Fellowship Holder £1.01 million 2015-2020   

National Institute of Health Research, Health Services and Delivery Research programme. The value and cost of different forms of information on oral health status and risk given to patient. Co-Investigator £427,000 2014-7   

Research Roles

Theme lead for Centre for Oral Health Research Oral Health Services Research Theme
Member, Centre for Oral Health Research Executive and COHR Strategy Group 
Oral and Dental Specialty Lead, North East and North Cumbria NIHR Clinical Research Network 
Reviewer for:
  • Social Science and Medicine
  • Journal of Dental Research
  • International Endodontic Journal
  • Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
  • BMC Oral Health
  • Community Dental Health
  • Journal of Dentistry
  • NIHR (Programme Grants)
  • MRC (New Investigator Grants)
  • ESRC (Knowledge Exchange Opportunities) 

Postgraduate Supervision


  • MPhil (2013-2017) The impact of oral health risk indicators on prevention uptake (Samridh Sharma)
  • PhD (2015-2020) Implementing IV concious sedation for oral surgery in adolescents (Ashleigh Stamp)
  • Orthodontic MScs (2016-2019) Willingness to Pay for different aspects of orthodontic treatment (4 students working collaboratively)


  • PhD (2012-2017) Economic issues in the provision of interventions seeking to reduce the incidence of caries in the pre-school Chilean population (Raul Palacio)
  • Orthodontic MScs (2013-2016) Willingness to Pay for different IOTN levels (6 students working collaboratively)
  • Orthodontic MSc: What is the psychosocial impact of dental and orthodontic treatment in patients with cleft lip and palate? (Systematic Review)
  • Conscious Sedation in Dentistry MSc:  What are dental non-attenders' preferences for anxiety management techniques?

Industrial Relevance

Economic evaluations are becoming increasingly important for both public and private providers and commissioners of dental care. Additionally, we have worked with developers of new dental technologies in carrying out economic evaluations of emerging treatments.  


Undergraduate Teaching

I am course leader for the academic elements of Paediatric Dentistry on the Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree programme.
I am also involved with clinical, small group and lecture based teaching as well as assessment and examination in the following areas:

  • BDS, Key Clinical Skills - Year 2
  • BDS, Paediatric Dentistry - Years 3-5
  • BDS, Dental Public Health - Years 3-5

In addition, I am personal tutor to several dental students.

Postgraduate Teaching

Teacher on Orthodontics MSc (Research methods)

Teaching of recently graduated dentists in preparation for Royal College examinations.