Dr Zehra Yonel BDS, MFDS (RCS Edin. RCS Eng.), PGCert, FHEA, MPH (Hons.) PhD.

Zehra Yonel

School of Dentistry
Clinical Lecturer Periodontology
Honorary StR Restorative Dentistry

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences
The School of Dentistry
5 Mill Pool Way
B5 7EG
United Kingdom

Dr Zehra Yonel is a Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Specialist Registrar in Restorative Dentistry at the School of Dentistry in the University of Birmingham. She has completed her PhD, funded by the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) and Diabetes UK, as part of a Doctoral Research Fellowship (DRF).

Her research interests lie in the fields of periodontology, epidemiology and the interface between oral and systemic diseases. Zehra is a calibrated assessor of periodontal indices used in clinical studies.

Zehra’s clinical training is in the field of restorative dentistry, encompassing periodontics, endodontics and prosthodontics.

Zehra is responsible for supervising BDS students undertaking treatments on clinic and delivers teaching to BDS, Hygiene and Therapy as well as Nursing undergraduate students. This teaching takes the form of lectures, tutorials and small-group teaching. She also leads on the “plaque project” and “cross sectional study”.

Zehra is also involved in post-graduate teaching co-leading two modules on the Endodontics MSc programme. Zehra has also been awarded a national commendation by the Royal College of Surgeons of England for her work in post-graduate education.


  • PhD – The role of the oral healthcare team in the early identification of non-diabetic hyperglycaemia and type 2 diabetes, University of Birmingham, 2023
  • Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2022
  • MPH – Clinical Effectiveness Research, Université de Paris, 2021
  • RCS Award in Education, March 2020 
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2015
  • Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2013
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), University of Birmingham, 2011


Dr Zehra Yonel qualified as a dentist from the University of Birmingham in 2011. Following this she undertook a number of Dental Core Training (DCT) posts providing a broad base of clinical skills including a restorative dentistry post at the Eastman Dental Hospital before returning to Birmingham in 2013 as a DCT2.

Zehra was appointed the first Academic DCT in the UK in 2014. This role allowed her to pursue her research interests which include the links between periodontal and systemic disease, particularly type 2 diabetes.

In 2018 Zehra ranked 1st in clinical national recruitment for restorative dentistry, securing her training post within the Birmingham Dental Hospital.

Zehra was awarded the prestigious NIHR /Diabetes UK partnership DRF in 2019, another UK first. This allowed her to take time out of her clinical consultant training in restorative dentistry, to focus on her research and research training.

Zehra completed her masters of public health from the prestigious Université de Paris in 2021.

Zehra defended her PhD thesis in February 2023, passing her viva with no corrections required.

Zehra obtained her teaching qualifications (PGCE and FHEA) in 2015. She provides teaching in the form of lectures to undergraduate dental, nursing and hygiene and therapy students predominantly in the clinical speciality of periodontology. She also supervises the clinical care delivered to patients by dental undergraduate students across all restorative dental disciplines.

Zehra leads and co-leads modules on the Endodontics MSc programme, and has subsequently received a commendation by the Royal College of Surgeons of England recognising her contribution to post-graduate teaching (2020).



  • 2023 – BBSRC - Stakeholder engagement and growth of a PPIE panel. Grant Value £3,325
  • 2022 – Institute of Clinical Sciences, Uni. Birmingham – Award of Pedagogic fund. Grant Value £11,701
  • 2021 – Septodont Prize, British Society of Oral and Dental Research - Diabetes Risk Assessment In Dental Settings: Model Development and Validation. Award Value £2000
  • 2021 - Awarded the MIRES BOURSE £4960 
  • 2020 - Awarded a Grant (18,000Euro) from the University of Greifswald for the development and validation of a diagnostic prediction model using covariates routinely available to the dental team to identify individuals at high risk of developing or with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.2019 - NIHRDiabetes UK Doctoral Fellowship. INtroducing DIabetes Checks in A denTal practice Environment: INDICATE. Ref: NIHR300171. Grant value £545,579.00
  • 2019 – GSK Project smile 212224 – Co-applicant Toothbrush efficacy study. Grant value £269,130.00
  • 2019 – ODRT - £4,430 - The role of the dental nurse in effecting positive behaviour change in primary medical care settings, using risk-driven personalised biofeedback to patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • 2018 – GSK OH Libra 209511 – Calibration study of periodontal indices; Rostogi and Turesky modification of Quigley and Hein (plaque indices) and the Modified Gingival Index.
  • 2018 - Evaluation of Point of Care Devices for Monitoring of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases REC reference: 16/SS/0197 Protocol number: RG_16-128 IRAS project ID: 212214. Industry Collaborations: Siemens and Nova BioCare.
  • 2017 – INDICATE - INtroducing DIabetes Check in A denTal Environment – The aims of this project are to assess the feasibility of implementation of targeted proactive risk-identification in dental settings for the identification of high-risk individuals for Diabetes and Non-Diabetic Hyperglycaemia.
  • 2017 – West-Midlands ranked 1st out of 15 Local Clinical Research Networks for recruitment to Oral and Dental Portfolio Studies as a direct results of Screening Underlying Chronic Conditions in dEntal SettingS (SUCCESS)
  • 2016 – Certificate of Commendation – John Zamet Prize in conjunction with the Alpha- Omega London Chapter and Charitable Trust.
  • 2016 – BCHC Research fund – Research & Innovation Team at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust – ranked 1st and Awarded a Grant of £11,573 to support the SUCCeSS.
  • 2016 – MOLOGIC – Small Medium Enterprise (SME) collaboration as part of the “Plaque Project” assessing salivary biomarkers.
  • 2015 – Unilever Trial ORG-EXG-1917 joint awardee and grant holder £164,000.
  • 2015 – GSK Research Grants Programme – Oral and Dental Research Trust – Ranked 1st –Awarded a Grant of £6386 to support the SUCCESS. 

Other activities

Zehra also is an active member of the following committees / societies:

  • British Society of Periodontology, Early Career Group Academic Representative, 2018 - 2020
  • The Academy of Dental Education Europe, INSPIRED Representative, 2018 - Present
  • Calibrated assessor for oral indices (plaque and gingival), 2019 - Present
  • NICE - Diabetes Update Guideline Committee: Type 1 in adults: diagnosis and management/Type 2 in adults: management, 2021 -2022
  • NICE expert member 2022
  • Diabetes UK Council of Healthcare Professionals (CHP), 2022 - present


Recent publications


Yonel, Z, Kocher, T, Chapple, I, Dietrich, T, Völzke, H, Nauck, M, Collins, G, Gray, LJ & Holtfreter, B 2023, 'Development and External Validation of a Multivariable Prediction Model to Identify Nondiabetic Hyperglycemia and Undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes: Diabetes Risk Assessment in Dentistry Score (DDS)', Journal of Dental Research, vol. 102, no. 2, pp. 170-177. https://doi.org/10.1177/00220345221129807

Yonel, Z, Kuningas, K, Sharma, P, Dutton, M, Jalal, Z, Cockwell, P, Webber, J, Narendran, P, Dietrich, T & Chapple, I 2022, 'Concordance of three point of care testing devices with clinical chemistry laboratory standard assays and patient-reported outcomes of blood sampling methods', BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, vol. 22, no. 1, 248. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12911-022-01999-z

Roberts, HM, Yonel, Z, Kantarci, A, Grant, MM & Chapple, ILC 2022, 'Impact of Gingivitis on Circulating Neutrophil Reactivity and Gingival Crevicular Fluid Inflammatory Proteins', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 19, no. 10, 6339. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106339

Yonel, Z, Yahyouche, A, Jalal, Z, James, A, Dietrich, T & Chapple, I 2021, 'Patient acceptability of targeted risk-based detection of non-communicable diseases in a dental and pharmacy setting', BMC Public Health, vol. 20, no. 1, 1576. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09649-7

Dukka, H, Dietrich, T, Saleh, MHA, Troiano, G, Yonel, Z, Ravidà, A, Wang, H, Greenwell, H & Chapple, ILC 2021, 'Prognostic performance of the 2017 World Workshop Classification on staging and grading of periodontitis compared with the British Society of Periodontology's implementation', Journal of Periodontology. https://doi.org/10.1002/JPER.21-0296

Grimaldi, R, Yonel, Z, Chapple, I, Butler, A, Hall, C, Reinbold, K & Mantzourani, M 2021, 'Randomised methodology development study to investigate plaque removal efficacy of manual toothbrushes', Journal of Dentistry, vol. 116, 103830. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdent.2021.103830

Rapson, A, Collman, E, Faustini, S, Yonel, Z, Chapple, I, Drayson, M, Richter, A, Campbell, JP & Heaney, J 2020, 'Free light chains as an emerging biomarker in saliva: biological variability and comparisons with salivary IgA and steroid hormones', Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity, vol. 83, pp. 78-86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2019.09.018

Mulkern, D, Hewitt, A, Parker, H, Batt, J, Yonel, Z & Grant, M 2020, 'Predicted salivary human protease activity in experimental gingivitis revealed by endoProteo-FASP approach', European Journal of Oral Sciences, vol. 128, no. 5, pp. 386-394. https://doi.org/10.1111/eos.12729

Sapey, E, Yonel, Z, Edgar, R, Parmar, S, Hobbins, S, Newby, P, Crossley, D, Usher, A, Johnson, S, Walton, G, McGuinness, A, Chapple, I & Stockley, R 2020, 'The clinical and inflammatory relationships between periodontitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease', Journal of Clinical Periodontology, vol. 47, no. 9, pp. 1040-1052. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpe.13334

Yonel, Z, Cerullo, E, Kroeger, A & Gray, LJ 2020, 'Use of dental practices for the identification of adults with undiagnosed type 2 Diabetes mellitus or non-diabetic hyperglycaemia: a systematic review', Diabetic Medicine, vol. 37, no. 9, pp. 1443-1453. https://doi.org/10.1111/dme.14324

Sharma, P, Yonel, Z, Chapple, I & Dietrich, T 2018, 'Association between periodontal health status and patient-reported outcomes in patients managed in a non-specialist, general dental practice', Journal of Clinical Periodontology. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpe.13022

Lopez-Oliva, I, Paropkari, AD, Saraswat, S, Serban, S, Yonel, Z, Sharma, P, de Pablo, P, Raza, K, Filer, A, Chapple, I, Dietrich, T, Grant, MM & Kumar, PS 2018, 'Dysbiotic subgingival microbial communities in periodontally healthy patients with rheumatoid arthritis', Arthritis and Rheumatology, vol. 70, no. 7, pp. 1008-1013. https://doi.org/10.1002/art.40485

Yonel, Z, Sharma, P, Yahyouche, A, Jalal, Z, Dietrich, T & Chapple, I 2018, 'Patients’ attendance patterns to different healthcare settings and perceptions of stakeholders regarding screening for chronic, non-communicable diseases in high street dental practices and community pharmacy: a cross-sectional study', BMJ open, vol. 8, no. 11, e024503. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024503

Review article

Karataş, E, Kul, A, Camilleri, J & Yonel, Z 2023, 'Association between rheumatoid arthritis and pulpal-periapical pathology: a systematic review', Clinical Oral Investigations. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00784-023-05305-7

Yonel, Z, Batt, J, Jane, R, Cerullo, E, Gray, LJ, Dietrich, T & Chapple, I 2020, 'The role of the oral healthcare team in identification of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review', Current Oral Health Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 87–97. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40496-020-00250-w

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