Dentist examining a patient's teeth with dental tools - mirror and probe

National dental data repository now available to UMN researchers

University of Minnesota researchers can now access the oral health records of more than 4.3 million consenting patients, thanks to a new data repository. 

The repository—called the BigMouth Network—is available through CTSI and gives UMN researchers unprecedented access to oral health data that can be used to advance research. 

Eleven dental schools across the country contributed to the repository, including the University of Minnesota. 

Data available

Approved researchers will have access to partially deidentified clinical data about each patient, including:

  • Demographics, including age, sex, and race/ethnicity
  • Diagnoses
  • Forms
  • Insurance type 
  • Odontogram
  • Periodontal charts
  • Practice
  • Medications
  • Procedures

Researchers can use data to conduct retrospective cohort studies and observational studies.

CTSI is committed to protecting patients’ privacy and uses best practices for securing, managing, and provisioning researchers’ access to data.

How to request data

Following is the process for requesting data from the BigMouth Network:

  1. Researcher secures UMN IRB approval for the proposed project.
  2. Researcher submits research proposal to Palak Bothra at [email protected].
  3. BigMouth team reviews the research proposal, and informs the researcher if their protocol has been accepted or rejected or requires modifications. 
  4. Once approved, the technical team at the University of Texas Health Science Center performs a data query for qualifying participants.
  5. Researcher accesses the data query via the BigMouth Network website by logging in with their UMN credentials.