Benjamin Chaffee, DDS, MPH, PhD

Benjamin Chaffee, DDS, MPH, PhD

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences, UCSF

Phone: (415) 476-9226
3333 California Street, 495
San Francisco, CA 94104

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Member » Tobacco Control

Research Summary

The overarching goal of our team’s epidemiologic research program is to understand how various behaviors, biological attributes, and social circumstances influence health and disease distributions, often inequitably, across populations. Application of such knowledge aims to inform future public health practices, health policies, and clinical guidelines that elevate the health of patients and vulnerable communities, both locally and worldwide. We strive for these goals through several recent and ongoing projects, such as: (1) A cohort study of conventional and alterative smokeless tobacco use among adolescents in rural California, including psychosocial influences of behavior and resultant nicotine and carcinogen exposures; (2) Investigations of early-life experiences and infant feeding behaviors in relation to childhood oral health in California and Brazil; (3) Evaluating clinical adoption and the effectiveness of patient-tailored caries-preventive therapies for adult and pediatric dental patients.


Williams College, Williamstown, BA, 06/2002, biology and chemistry
University of California San Francisco, DDS, 06/2008, dentistry
University of California Berkeley, MPH, 05/2009, epidemiology
University of California Berkeley, PhD, 05/2013, epidemiology

Professional Experience

  • 2002-2004
    Research Technician, MIT Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
  • 2004-2013
    Trainee, UCSF Integrated DDS-PhD Degree Program
  • 2008-2010
    Associate Dentist, Native American Health Center, San Francisco, CA
  • 2010-2013
    Graduate Student Instructor, University of California Berkley, School of Public Health
  • 2012-2012
    Lecturer, San José State University, Department of Health Science and Recreation
  • 2012-2013
    Graduate Student Researcher, University of California Berkley, College of Natural Sciences
  • 2013-2013
    Statistical Consultant, University of California Berkley, Social Sciences Data Lab
  • 2013-2014
    Assistant Researcher, UCSF Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health
  • 2014-present 
    Assistant Professor, UCSF Division of Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health
  • 2014-present
    Director, Program in Global Oral Health, UCSF School of Dentistry

Honors & Awards

  • 2008
    American Association of Oral Biologists Oral Biology Award, UCSF
  • 2010
    Lloyd F. Richards Endowment Fund Public Health Dentistry Award, UC Berkeley
  • 2011
    Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, UC Berkeley
  • 2012
    American Association for Dental Research Bloc Grant Travel Award
  • 2012
    International Association for Dental Research Nutrition Research Group Student Abstract Award
  • 2013
    American Association for Dental Research Bloc Grant Travel Award
  • 2014
    American Association for Dental Research Hatton Award Finalist, Post-doctoral Category
  • 2014
    UCSF John C. Greene Society School of Dentistry Mentor of the Year
  • 2015
    UCSF 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award (awarded to 150 living UCSF alumni)
  • 2016
    American Association for Dental Education Olav Alvares Award, outstanding article by junior

Selected Publications

  1. Chaffee BW, Urata J, Couch ET, Gansky SA. Perceived Flavored Smokeless Tobacco Ease-of-use and Youth Susceptibility. Tob Regul Sci. 2017 Jul; 3(3):367-373.
    View on PubMed
  2. Chaffee BW, Couch ET, Gansky SA. Adolescents' smokeless tobacco susceptibility by perceived professional baseball players' use. J Public Health Dent. 2017 Jun 07.
    View on PubMed
  3. Seymour B, Shick E, Chaffee BW, Benzian H. Going Global: Toward Competency-Based Best Practices for Global Health in Dental Education. J Dent Educ. 2017 Jun; 81(6):707-715.
    View on PubMed
  4. Chaffee BW, Featherstone JDB, Zhan L. Pediatric Caries Risk Assessment as a Predictor of Caries Outcomes. Pediatr Dent. 2017 May 15; 39(3):219-232.
    View on PubMed
  5. Chaffee BW, Couch ET, Gansky SA. Trends in characteristics and multi-product use among adolescents who use electronic cigarettes, United States 2011-2015. PLoS One. 2017; 12(5):e0177073.
    View on PubMed
  6. Elias J, Hendlin Y, Chaffee BW, Ling PM. Don't throw smokeless tobacco users under the bus. Addict Behav. 2017 Apr 10.
    View on PubMed
  7. Chaffee BW, Rodrigues PH, Kramer PF, Vítolo MR, Feldens CA. Oral health-related quality-of-life scores differ by socioeconomic status and caries experience. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2017 Jan 12.
    View on PubMed
  8. Couch ET, Darius E, Walsh MM, Chaffee BW. Smokeless Tobacco Decision-Making Among Rural Adolescent Males in California. J Community Health. 2016 Oct 28.
    View on PubMed
  9. Chaffee BW. Salivary Bacterial Levels and Clinic Attendance Patterns may be Longitudinally Associated with Caries Outcomes in Established Adult Dental Patients. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2016 Jun; 16(2):139-41.
    View on PubMed
  10. Chaffee BW, Couch ET, Ryder MI. The tobacco-using periodontal patient: role of the dental practitioner in tobacco cessation and periodontal disease management. Periodontol 2000. 2016 Jun; 71(1):52-64.
    View on PubMed
  11. Chaffee BW, Featherstone JD, Gansky SA, Cheng J, Zhan L. Caries Risk Assessment Item Importance: Risk Designation and Caries Status in Children under Age 6. JDR Clin Trans Res. 2016 Jul; 1(2):131-142.
    View on PubMed
  12. Couch ET, Chaffee BW, Gansky SA, Walsh MM. The changing tobacco landscape: What dental professionals need to know. J Am Dent Assoc. 2016 Jul; 147(7):561-9.
    View on PubMed
  13. Chaffee BW, Cheng J, Featherstone JD. Non-operative anti-caries agents and dental caries increment among adults at high caries risk: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Oral Health. 2015; 15(1):111.
    View on PubMed
  14. Chaffee BW, Gansky SA, Halpern-Felsher B, Couch ET, Essex G, Walsh MM. Conditional risk assessment of adolescents' electronic cigarette perceptions. Am J Health Behav. 2015 May; 39(3):421-32.
    View on PubMed
  15. Chaffee BW, Featherstone JD. Long-term adoption of caries management by risk assessment among dental students in a university clinic. J Dent Educ. 2015 May; 79(5):539-47.
    View on PubMed
  16. Chaffee BW. Couch ET. Walsh MM.. Smokeless Tobacco in Sport and Use Among Adolescents. 2015.
    View on PubMed
  17. Chaffee BW, Abrams B, Cohen AK, Rehkopf DH. Socioeconomic disadvantage in childhood as a predictor of excessive gestational weight gain and obesity in midlife adulthood. Emerg Themes Epidemiol. 2015; 12:4.
    View on PubMed
  18. Chaffee BW, Feldens CA, Rodrigues PH, Vítolo MR. Feeding practices in infancy associated with caries incidence in early childhood. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2015 Aug; 43(4):338-48.
    View on PubMed
  19. Chaffee BW, Cheng J, Featherstone JD. Baseline caries risk assessment as a predictor of caries incidence. J Dent. 2015 May; 43(5):518-24.
    View on PubMed
  20. Chaffee BW, Vítolo MR, Feldens CA. The Porto Alegre Early Life Nutrition and Health Study. Rev Bras Epidemiol. 2014 Dec; 17(4):1015-8.
    View on PubMed

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