Clinical & Practice-Based Research Program

NIDCR encourages applications proposing patient-oriented and population-based studies aimed at improving dental, oral and craniofacial health. Examples of research supported by the Clinical and Practice-Based Research Program include:

  • Identifying and characterizing risk and protective factors for the development or progression of oral and craniofacial diseases and disorders;
  • Defining the natural history of oral and craniofacial diseases and disorders;
  • Understanding how genetic, behavioral and environmental factors interact to contribute to oral disease susceptibility;
  • Describing the distribution of oral, dental and craniofacial diseases and disorders;
  • Identifying differences in oral disease distribution among population sub-groups;
  • Clinically characterizing pathways involved in the development and/or pathogenesis of oral and craniofacial diseases and disorders;
  • Identifying the sequelae and impact of oral and craniofacial diseases and disorders;
  • Assessing treatment outcomes and identifying best practices for treatment of the oral sequelae of systemic diseases that impact oral health (such as systemic diseases or conditions that impact oral health);
  • Identifying and validating existing and new methods to measure and document oral, dental and craniofacial diseases and disorders;
  • Determining the effectiveness of different therapies for oral and craniofacial diseases and disorders.

National Dental Practice-Based Research Network

NIDCR's National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) is a nationally coordinated program committed to advancing knowledge of dental practice and ways to improve it. Essentially, it is research done in the “real world” of daily clinical practice. The goals of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network are to support national oral health research studies in dental practices on topics of importance to practitioners and their patients, to provide evidence useful in daily patient care, and to facilitate the translation of research findings into clinical practice.

The National Dental PBRN is headquartered at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and includes six regional nodes. Network membership comprises over 6,500 dental practitioners in all 50 states, representing a variety of practice settings and types.

The Network provides practitioners with an opportunity to propose or participate in research studies by building on practitioners’ observations from their own practices and addressing research questions that are directly relevant to their daily practice. 

Studies include: Management of painful temporomandibular disorders, HPV screening for oral cancer risk, management of adult open openbite, orofacial pain after endodontic treatment, and opioid prescribing practices of dentists.

Last Reviewed on
February 2018