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From Dental Materials to Panoramic X-Rays: The NIST-ADA Dental Research Collaboration

(jointly sponsored by NIST Standards Alumni Association)

Clifton Carey
Paffenbarger Research Center
NIST Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory


The Paffenbarger Research Center (PRC) has a distinguished 80-year history. It began as a collaborative effort between NBS and the American Dental Association to develop specifications and test methods for dental materials used by the U.S. War Department. Developed, too, were instruments and materials used in the daily practice of dentistry that have had an unparalleled impact on oral care. These inventions include the panoramic x-ray machine, the high speed handpiece, resin composite filling materials, and dental bonding systems. The PRC is a classic example of NIST's goal to include private organizations in research of mutual interest. The presentation will provide a historical perspective of the ADA/NIST collaboration and highlight 80 years of accomplishments.

Anyone outside NIST wishing to attend must be sponsored by a NIST employee and receive a visitor badge. For more information, call Kum J. Ham at 301-975-4203.

Colloquia are videotaped and available in the NIST Research Library.

First Panoramic X-ray Machine
First Panoramic X-ray Machine
Credit: Image provided by Clifton Carey

Modern Ultra-High Speed Handpiece
Credit: Image provided by Clifton Carey
 Curing Bonded Resin Composite Filling Material
Curing Bonded Resin Composite Filling Material
Credit: Image provided by Clifton Carey


Created October 23, 2009, Updated January 3, 2017