Oral Health Initiative

National Oral Health Research Strategy

The National Oral Health Research Strategy (NOHRS) is a collaboration between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA), Canadian Association for Dental Research, Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry, Network for Canadian Oral Health Research, Canadian Dental Association, Denturist Association of Canada, Canadian Dental Therapists Association and Canadian Dental Hygienists Association.

This inaugural Canadian National Oral Health Research Strategy (NOHRS) is both necessary and timely. In December 2023, the Canadian government announced the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). In 2024, the WHO published its “Global strategy and action plan on oral health 2023–2030” (GSAPOH), including a range of measures to reduce the burden of oral disease globally and integrate oral health care into primary medical care and universal health care. At the same time, in Canada, for the first time in 15 years the current, 2022-24 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) cycle 7, includes clinical, biological, and self-report indicators of oral health.

This NOHRS will inform governments and decision-makers, funding agencies, researchers and their organizations, health care practitioners, the public and others to focus both on emerging, priority issues for Canadian society and on innovative methodological and technological approaches to address these issues. The oral health research community in Canada is a small but dynamic group and this NOHRS can help expand its numbers and skills, as well as its integration with other health research and ultimately support improving oral health and reducing inequities among people living in Canada.

NOHRS Summary

Full NOHRS document

If you would like to request either document in a different format (e.g., Microsoft Word Doc), please email CIHR-IMHA via IMHA-IALA@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.


Initial launch discussions were held in Ottawa, in March 2023. This preliminary meeting involved a small but representative group of 70 individuals from across the oral health research community, health researchers from other disciplines, professional bodies, and patient and public partners.

The executive summary following that meeting

We are aware that many other people and organizations have expressed interest in the NOHRS process and are very grateful for this high level of engagement. Co-creation of the strategy included two phases of wider consultation, in order to gain the broadest possible input. During April to July 2023, feedback was collected on the research themes and priorities from the community to be reviewed by the Steering Committee. Patient and public engagement consultation sessions were also held during November 2023. Following this, writing teams for each of the themes developed the first draft document of the NOHRS. This draft document was shared in full during March and April 2024 for another round of open feedback.

The final version of the research strategy was announced at the Canadian Oral Health Summit on June 21st, 2024.

Oral Health Data Platform

The Oral Health Data platform was funded in March 2021 and is supported by the following CIHR Institutes:

The Oral Health Data Platform has the overall goals of generating data, creating a database, and establishing a research and training infrastructure. These will enable oral health researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers to address essential oral health and oral health care-related research questions, facilitate knowledge translation and further knowledge exchange with appropriate stakeholders. The Oral Health Data Platform will build sustainable long-term capacity in oral health related research to improve the health of all Canadians.

This platform, created in collaboration with Statistics Canada through their Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), will add relevant and essential biological, clinical and self-report oral health data in Cycle 7 of the CHMS. This project will use Statistics Canada's existing research infrastructure and expertise to address oral health-related knowledge gaps, to explore links between oral and systemic health, and to establish a modern, world-class research platform to provide numerous opportunities for new research discoveries and training.

Data generated by the survey will be used to investigate important research questions around topics such as:

Dr. Paul Allison, lead for this project, is a professor in the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences at McGill University. He is a dentist trained in oral and maxillofacial surgery and dental public health, with research training in clinical and community epidemiology. He is a former President of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

For more information, please contact:


The vision of the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research (NCOHR) is to be the primary resource for initiating, supporting, and sustaining innovative and collaborative oral health research designed to benefit the health of all Canadians. NCOHR links researchers from ten universities across Canada to promote mentorship of the next generation of oral health researchers; aid development of interdisciplinary research teams; enable sharing of research-related resources; guide development of sustainable infrastructure; and facilitate communication between and among knowledge creators and knowledge users. This network creates opportunities for oral health researchers to share ideas and resources so they can work together to continue to improve the oral health of Canadians.

More information on NCOHR's objectives and priority areas.

For more information, please contact:

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