In addition to teaching and caring for patients, Dr Le conducts research on tooth development and inherited tooth defects. His research interest is to investigate the structures and functions of enamel extracellular matrix proteins in tooth formation, with particular emphasis on alternatively spliced amelogenins. Mutations in these enamel matrix proteins result in inherited enamel defects, called amelogenesis imperfect. He also is interested in investigate the outcome assessments of pediatric dentistry performed under conscious sedation.
Le completed his undergraduate B.S. degree (Chemistry) and dental training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C., before coming to UCSF to obtain a certificate in pediatric dentistry and a Ph.D. in Oral and Craniofacial sciences.
Le is an associate professor of clinical orofacial sciences at UCSF, and director of the postgraduate pediatric dentistry residency program. He was awarded the 2013 Academic Senate Distinction in Teaching Award for faculty at UCSF five years or fewer, and was also a recipient of Eric B. Bystrom Pediatric Dentistry Memorial Award, for excellence in caring for special-need pediatric patients from UCSF Pediatric Dentistry, 2002.
Le is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1995, BS Chemistry
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1999, DDS (Dentistry)
University of California San Francisco 2002, Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry
University of California San Francisco 2007, PhD in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences.
Current research interest
1. A Retrospective Study of Chloral Hydrate Versus Midazolam Containing Triple-Cocktail Oral Sedation in Pediatric Dentistry.
The aim of the study is to evaluate retrospectively the safety and efficacy of two moderate oral conscious sedation drug regimens used at UCSF Pediatric Dentistry Clinic: chloral hydrate, meperidine, and hydroxyzine (CH/M/H) versus midazolam, meperidine, and hydroxyzine (Mid/M/H). The results concluded that the chloral hydrate regimen can be safely and effectively used in pediatric dental oral conscious sedation.
2. Pilot Study: Effect of Livionex on Plaque Accumulation and Oral Health in Children
The aim of this clinical trial study is to investigate the effectiveness of a commercially available Livionex toothpaste in reducing dental plaque accummulation and caries, improving gingival health and thus over all oral health for children. Livionex uses a proprietary formulation of the calcium chelator, EDTA, to break up the dental plaque biofilm. EDTA is deposited onto the tooth surface while brushing, which increases the negative charge on the tooth surface. This prevents the adhesion and accumulation of negatively charged biofilm, reducing caries and improving gingival health.
3. Functional Remineralization of Dentin Lesions Using PILP-releasing glass ionomer cement.
(In collaboration with Stefan Habelitz to mentor a summer research student’s project, Hoorsad Fathi-Kelly).
The goal of this research is to demonstrate osteopontin (OPN) enhances the functionality of glass-ionomer cement (GIC) formulations used in dental applications to achieve functional remineralization of dentin tissue. We hypothesize that these OPN-GICs will provide the chemical environment necessary to activate the polymer-induced liquid-precursor (PILP) process required to introduce apatite mineral into collagen fibrils (intrafibrillar mineral). The aims are to determine if
- OPN-GIC mixtures form stable, fast-setting cements comparable to commercial GICs,
- exposing lesions to the novel GIC reduces shrinkage (indicating remineralization), and
- functional remineralization of underlying dentin tissue occurs over time.
A successful demonstration will facilitate transitioning functional remineralization of dentin lesions in the laboratory to an applicable restorative dental treatment in the clinic.
4. Remineralization Potentials of Polyaspartic-acid Modified Glassionomer in Demineralized Dentin Matrix.
- The purpose of this study is to compare the ability of resin-modified glassionomer Biocem cement (NuSmile, Houston, TX) and Biocem cement modified with polyaspartic acid (Biocem+Polyaspartic acid) in their ability to remineralize and restore the mechanical properties of demineralized dentin matrix in artificial lesions in extracted human molars.
Selected Research and Publications
Le TQ, Zhang Y, Li W, Denbesten PK. The effect of LRAP on enamel organ epithelial cell differentiation. J Dent Res. 2007 Nov; 86(11):1095-9.
Le TQ, Gochin M, Featherstone JD, Li W, DenBesten PK. Comparative calcium binding of leucine-rich amelogenin peptide and full-length amelogenin. Eur J Oral Sci. 2006 May; 114 Suppl 1:320-6; discussion 327-9, 382.
Ye L, Le TQ, Zhu L, Butcher K, Schneider RA, Li W, DenBesten PK (2006). Amelogenins in human developing and mature dental pulp. J Dent Res 85(9):814-8.
Tanimoto K, Le TQ, Zhu L, Chen JL, Featherstone JDB, Li W, DenBesten PK (2008). Effects of fluoride on the interactions between amelogenin and apatite crystal. J. Dent Res 87(1):39-44.
Tanimoto K, Le TQ, Zhu L, Witkowska HE, Robinson S, Hall S, Hwang P, DenBesten PK, Li W (2008). Reduced amelogenin-MMP20 interactions in amelogenesis imperfecta. J Dent Res 87(5):451-455