The National Dental PBRN is now Enrolling new Practitioners

August 22, 2012 10:37 AM

The nations’ network: The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) awards a $67 million, seven-year grant that consolidates its practice-based research network initiative into a single national coordinated effort

NIDCR first launched three regional dental practice-based research networks 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. Hundreds of practitioners and thousands of patients have benefited by participating in the first phase during 2005-2012. NIDCR, part of the National Institutes of Health, has provided the nation an unprecedented, historic opportunity by funding the next phase – a single national network. This is "the nation’s network".

The national network is made up of members, from those in private practice to those serving their community, who investigate research questions with practical impact that will improve the quality of dental care. The goals are to conduct national oral health studies on topics of importance to practitioners and their patients, to provide evidence to improve routine dental care, and to facilitate movement of the latest evidence into routine clinical practice. A key objective is to conduct studies that will improve the knowledge base for clinical decision-making.

The National Dental PBRN is headquartered at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Dentistry and is led by Dr. Gregg Gilbert, the national network director and the chair of the Department of General Dental Sciences. "This can become a precious national resource for our profession and our patients. We aim to improve the nation’s oral health by improving the knowledge base for clinical decision-making and moving the latest evidence into routine care. We are so fortunate that NIDCR has invested in our profession and its scientific basis."

Under Gilbert, UAB will serve as the national administrative base for six smaller regional nodes. In addition to Birmingham, there are nodes in Rochester, N.Y.; Gainesville, Fla.; Minneapolis, Minn.; San Antonio, Texas; and Portland, Ore.

The National Dental PBRN is now enrolling practitioners. You can enroll online by going to, and clicking on the "Enroll Now" tab. You need to have a functioning email address to enroll. If you previously participated in another network such as the DentalPBRN, PEARL or PRECEDENT, you will need to re-enroll because of revised enrollment questions, the need to update information, and submit study ideas.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Sonia K. Makhija, network director of Communications and Dissemination at

Click here to download an informational brochure on the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.



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