Frequently Asked Questions


Why is NIDCR engaged in this visioning initiative now?

As we began to think about and prepare for our upcoming strategic plan, we wanted to think beyond a five-year increment—to plan for the long-term future. We also wanted to break away from a top-down and isolated approach of thinking about our future, and saw this as an opportunity to engage stakeholders in shaping and prioritizing the future of dental, oral, and craniofacial research. Perspectives of all stakeholders are important for driving and shaping research and, in particular, identifying the greatest needs, gaps, and areas of opportunity.


Why is NIDCR using an interactive web-based tool?

IdeaScale offers a platform to reach more constituents and allow for multiple levels of participation and engagement. In addition to facilitating the submission of your own comments, this web-based tool allows users to interact with and view comments submitted by others.


How were the five goal areas selected?

The five goals for NIDCR 2030 were developed based on input from NIDCR staff and the NIDCR Advisory Council. These goals, which are all equally important to the Institute, were intentionally left broad so as not to prioritize any particular disease over another, but rather to focus on research areas and tools that could be broadly applied to a range of diseases and conditions, and to include a focus on disease prevention and health promotion.


What will NIDCR do with my comments?

Submitted comments will be reviewed by NIDCR staff for consideration in further developing proposed research initiatives and related funding opportunities. No financial rewards will be given or winning selections made for submitted comments. Yet, this platform provides an opportunity for the community to help guide and shape future research priorities for NIDCR.

Please note: The NIDCR 2030 website, including proposed research initiatives and related comments, will remain publicly accessible after the comment period ends and be used to facilitate ongoing dialogue about the status of each proposed research initiative, the strategic visioning initiative at large, and efforts to reach the NIDCR 2030 goals. Check back frequently for updates. Announcements will also be made on the NIDCR home page:  


Can I submit comments anonymously?

Yes, individuals who would prefer not to have their name appear on the site may submit comments anonymously—this option is available in the comment submission form and author names will show up as “Community Member.”

Although we encourage comment submission via IdeaScale, we can also accept private submissions via the NIDCR 2030 email box, if necessary: Comments received in this email box will be reviewed and considered, along with web-based submissions, to help guide future research initiatives and funding opportunities.


Where should I direct patients or other members requesting information about dental, oral, or craniofacial health?

The NIDCR 2030 website was not designed for inquiries regarding dental or related health care or services. Individuals requesting information about dental, oral, or craniofacial health should contact NIDCR’s National Oral Health Information Clearinghouse at or 1-866-232-4528.


For private/internal campaigns, please direct your questions to


Glossary of Terms

  • Autotherapies: Forms of treatment that take advantage of the body’s ability to heal itself.
  • Biodevices/ Biosensors: A device that uses technologies to detect and monitor physiological processes in the human body or to deliver agents such therapeutics.
  • Precision Health: An emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention, as well as public health interventions, that accounts for individual and population-wide variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle.
  • Systemic: Affecting or supporting health throughout the body, as opposed to a limited area or region of the body.