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 27 Institutes and Centers at 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 promoting the timely transfer of knowledge gained from research to the public.

How We Accomplish Our Mission

  • NIDCR-supported scientists conduct basic, translational, and clinical research. Among the areas of study are oral cancer, orofacial pain, tooth decay, periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, craniofacial development and disorders, and the oral complications of systemic diseases.
  • NIDCR supports research training and career development programs for individuals at various stages of their careers, from high school students to independent scientists.
  • NIDCR shares research findings with the public, health care professionals, researchers, 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

Acting Director


Lawrence Tabak, DDS, PhD



NIDCR's annual budget is approximately $450 million.

The Institute distributes about 75% of its research funding to grantees at universities, dental schools, medical schools, and small businesses, 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
January 2020