Fast Facts

Who We Are


The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is the federal government's lead agency for scientific research on dental, oral, and craniofacial health and disease. NIDCR is one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Our Mission

Our mission is to improve dental, oral, and craniofacial health through research and research training, and by sharing science-based health information with the public and health care professionals.

How We Accomplish Our Mission

  • NIDCR-supported scientists conduct research on the full spectrum of topics related to dental, oral, and craniofacial health and disease. Among the areas of study are oral cancer, orofacial pain, tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, salivary gland dysfunction, craniofacial development and disorders, and the relationship between oral health and overall health.
  • NIDCR supports research training and career development programs for everyone from high school students to independent scientists.
  • NIDCR shares research findings with the public, health care professionals, and policy makers. Institute staff also produce health information for consumers as well as dentists, physicians, and other health care providers.

Read about our research priorities in the NIDCR Strategic Plan



Martha J. Somerman, DDS, PhD



NIDCR's annual budget is approximately $400 million.

The Institute distributes about 75% of its research funding to grantees at universities, dental schools, and medical schools, primarily in the United States.

NIDCR funds approximately 770 grants, 6,500 researchers, 350 trainees, and 200 organizations.



NIDCR headquarters are located on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, just 10 miles outside Washington, DC.



NIDCR employs more than 400 scientists and administrators.

Established in 1948 by Public Law 755


The National Dental Research Act was signed into law by President Harry Truman on June 24, 1948.

Last Reviewed on
February 2018