Achievements & Awards Cariology, Restorative Sciences & Endodontics Faculty Researchers Science

Faculty member Dr. Margherita Fontana named president of European dental caries research organization2 min read

August 15, 2023

Faculty member Dr. Margherita Fontana named president of European dental caries research organization2 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., Aug. 15, 2023 – University of Michigan School of Dentistry faculty member Dr. Margherita Fontana was named president of a prominent European dental caries research group during its recent annual conference, marking the first time the organization has been led by an individual from a university outside of Europe.

Dr. Margherita Fontana

The European Organization for Caries Research (ORCA) named Fontana as its president during its 70th annual conference held in the Netherlands in July. Other current officers are from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Fontana is the Clifford Nelson Endowed Professor of Dentistry in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences, and Endodontics. She is recognized internationally as a leading scientist in the field of cariology and has an extensive clinical research background in childhood caries management.

“Caries is the leading dental disease experienced by people around the world, so it’s important to strengthen the worldwide network of researchers who are working to find the best evidence-based solutions for treating and, more importantly, preventing caries,” Fontana said. “I’m honored to lead ORCA, which has a longstanding commitment to this research. With its new global agenda, ORCA is emphasizing prevention and research on a larger scale and I look forward to helping in this pursuit.”

Dr. Fontana is currently leading two long-term studies of childhood caries funded with major grants from the National Institutes of Health. One expands research into predicting caries risk throughout childhood and the second is a clinical trial testing the effectiveness of Silver Diamine Fluoride, or SDF, in arresting caries in children ages 2-5. Both grants include multidisciplinary teams from around the world.

ORCA was founded in 1953 after Swiss and German dentists reviewed reports from the U.S. on the anti-caries effect of fluoridated drinking water and became interested in creating similar programs to impact tooth decay in Europe.  More information is available on the ORCA website.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral healthcare education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.