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National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research continues funding for research network

July 12, 2019

By Mary Beth Versaci

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research will continue to fund two grants that support its National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.

The institute launched the network in 2005 to provide practitioners with an opportunity to propose and participate in research studies addressing oral health care. Intended to expand the profession's evidence base, the studies are conducted in dental offices with consenting patients.  

One grant funds an Administrative and Resource Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with regional centers in Birmingham; Gainesville, Florida; Minneapolis; Portland, Oregon; Rochester, New York; and San Antonio. The second grant supports a Data Coordinating Center at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland.

Grant funding will continue for seven years, the institute announced in June.

"A PBRN is a unique venue in which to conduct clinical research, drawing on the experience and insight of practicing clinicians," said Dr. Martha Somerman, institute director. "Because research is conducted in the real-world environment of dental practice, results have the potential to be readily accepted and adopted by practitioners and translated into daily practice."

The network has conducted 38 studies since 2005, leading to more than 156 peer-reviewed publications in 50 scientific journals.

"The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network is a unique investigative union of real-world practicing clinicians and academic clinical scientists that aims to improve the nation’s oral health by expanding the knowledge base for clinical decision-making and moving the latest evidence into routine care," said Dr. Gregg Gilbert, network director and principal investigator of the Administrative and Resource Center.  

The network has more than 6,500 members, including dentists and hygienists. To learn more or enroll, visit