Niek Opdam (1956) graduated as a dentist in 1980 at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. After his graduation he started working as a pediatric dentist and in 1982 he opened a general practice in Ulft, a small town in the Netherlands. In 1986 there was a switch from pediatric dentistry towards a position at the Radboud university where he worked since then, first as assistant, later as associate professor. During those years he combined the function of general practitioner with the Academia, with a focus on adhesive dentistry, post-graduate courses and later research.
In 1998 he received his PhD degree on a thesis: ‘practical procedures for posterior composites’. As he was interested in performance of especially direct restorations placed in general practices he started to investigate the results of his own practice regarding restorative work in several papers, including a paper comparing amalgam and composite restorations in JDR in 2010 that meanwhile has reached a total of more than 180 citations. More than 10 publications in peer-reviewed journals reported on clinical work performed in his general practice, including a randomized study on the treatment of cracked teeth.
In total, 27 of his more than 100 peer reviewed publications were reporting on longevity and clinical performance of restorative work. Nowadays his general practice has been reduced to a referral practice for complicated restorative procedures with direct techniques, such as treatment of severe tooth wear patients.
In research he is now supervising PhD projects with subjects like secondary caries, treatment of severe tooth wear and practice based research in restorative dentistry, many work performed in collaboration with the federal university of Pelotas in Brazil where Niek Opdam was visiting professor from 2012 to 2016.