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NIDCR 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 oral, dental 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 oral, dental 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

  • Scientists supported by NIDCR use the latest molecular and genetic tools to conduct research on the full spectrum of topics related to craniofacial, oral, and dental health and disease. Among the areas of study are: oral cancer; chronic pain conditions; infectious diseases, including tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease; salivary gland function and dysfunction; craniofacial development and disorders; biomimetics and tissue engineering; and the relationship between oral health and general well-being.

  • NIDCR supports 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 and distribute health education materials 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, D.D.S., Ph.D.



Annual budget is approximately $409 million.

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

Congressional Justifications and Director’s Statement for the Senate Appropriations Committee


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

Visitor information


NIDCR employs more than 400 scientists and administrators

Staff Directory

Established in 1948 by Public Law 755

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

This page last updated: August 31, 2011