Behavioral & Social Sciences Research Program

The Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSS) Research Program supports basic and applied BSS research to promote oral health, to prevent oral diseases and related disabilities, and to improve management of craniofacial conditions, disorders and injury. The BSS research program views oral health as one component of a larger system of health and well-being, and encourages both basic and applied research that incorporates other aspects of health and well-being that contribute to oral health. This view of oral health as a component of general health builds on the Surgeon General’s report on oral health in America (2000).

Health Behaviors Research

Basic health behaviors research clarifies how health behaviors, including oral health behaviors, develop and are maintained across the lifespan. Applied health behaviors research develops and tests interventions that promote oral health. Interventions may target prevention of oral disease, or appropriate treatment for an existing oral or craniofacial condition, disease or injury. Interventions may target a general, specific or clinical population. Development and testing of community-wide or public health interventions to promote health and oral health are also encouraged.

Health Services Research

Health services research is the multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately health and well-being. Its research domains are individuals, families, organizations, institutions, communities, and populations. (Lohr & Steinwachs, 2002). The NIDCR supports health services research that falls within the NIH mission.

Implementation Science

Implementation Science Research is the scientific study of methods to promote the integration of research findings and evidence-based interventions into dental/oral/craniofacial health care practice and policy. "Intervention" means any practice, policy, tool, strategy, or combination designed to improve dental/oral/craniofacial health outcomes. The NIDCR has particular interest in:

  • Developing and testing implementation strategies that identify, understand, and overcome barriers to the adoption, adaptation, integration, scale-up and sustainability of specific evidence-based interventions, tools, policies, and guidelines.
  • Developing and testing strategies to “de-implement” or reduce the use of interventions, tools, policies, and guidelines that are no longer supported by current evidence, have never been evidence-based, have been prematurely widely adopted, and/or are harmful or wasteful.
Last Reviewed
July 2018