Find an Oral Study in your area

To find out more about current oral and dental health studies you can view a list of studies on the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio Database.

Working with the Life Sciences

The NIHR Clinical Research Network Cancer has been enormously successful in integrating clinical research into NHS clinical service provision, and both developing and delivering a large practice changing portfolio of clinical trials.

Read the Oral and Dental Health specialty profile


Our Studies


As the most integrated clinical research system in the world, the NIHR supports research studies through our funding programmes, training and supporting health researchers, and providing world-class research facilities. We also support dialogue between the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all, and facilitate the involvement of patients and the public to make research more effective.

Last year (2016/2017) the NIHR supported 46 studies on Oral and dental health. The NIHR supported these studies through our funding programmes and our research schools and units. We also support Oral and dental health research through our research infrastructure and our training and career development awards for researchers.

Bite off all you can chew

Many denture users have problems with them, and evidence shows people find it difficult to cope with some important food groups, affecting both a person's quality of life and nutritional status. The most important stage in creating comfortable dentures is considered to be taking the gum impressions, there are however gaps in the evidence pointing to which materials make the most effective moulds.

In a study funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme, patients received two sets of dentures, made using either alginate or silicone impressions, to wear in random order and rate the comfort, stability, chewing efficiency and experience of each mould.

Dentures created from a silicone mould were preferred over alginate. Given the extra cost of silicone impressions of  £30 per patient, dentists should consider choosing silicone rather than alginate as their material of choice for complete dentures if patient circumstance can justify the extra cost.

Bringing into practice more acceptable treatments for child tooth cavities

Childhood experience of dental treatment is a significant factor in the development of dental anxiety, which can lead to avoidance of necessary dental treatment in later life. The Hall technique enables minimally invasive management of dental decay in children by placing preformed metal crowns over teeth, thus avoiding injections and drilling. Prior to this study, challenges in conducting research in primary care presented barriers to the generalisability and translation of research on treatments such as the Hall Technique.

This study, funded through the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme, consisted of a split-mouth-designed trial, in which children were treated using both the Hall Technique and standard dental care. The study produced positive findings in relation to both the effectiveness of the Hall technique and its acceptability to patients and clinicians.

Findings from the study have had a significant impact in the UK and abroad - in clinical practice, in policy, in teaching and training, and on the body of research related to the Hall Technique. The Hall technique has been included in Scottish guidelines on the prevention and management of tooth decay in children, and in national guidelines for countries including New Zealand and Poland.

Managing caries in deciduous teeth

Dental cavities in children are still highly prevalent in the UK and dentists carry out many thousands of procedures up and down the country every day to manage this. However, there is uncertainty amongst dentists as to the best way of managing this in deciduous (first) teeth.

The FiCTION Dental Trial looks at this uncertainty by investigating three different approaches. The results of the trial, funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme, will inform policy, guidance and future teaching on managing dental caries in children.

Optimum recall intervals for maintaining oral health

The INTERVAL – Dental recalls trial is investigating whether risk based recall intervals or a fixed period 24 month recall are more effective in maintaining oral health than the traditional fixed period 6 month recall.

The trial is funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme and supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Oral and Dental Health Specialty.

You can find out more about Oral and Dental health studies in your area through the UK Clinical Trials Gateway.

Useful links and resources

Oral and Dental Health Specialty leaflet