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Promote oral health globally by advancing the robust application of behavioral and social sciences


Maximize the impact of behavioral and social sciences for the promotion of oral health by building consensus among health scientists and clinicians about essential foci, identifying critical next steps, and fostering transdisciplinary collaboration

The 2020 Behavioral and Social Oral Health Sciences Summit was an inaugural international conference, and the first comprehensive meeting specifically for behavioral and social oral health sciences in over 25 years.

Originally organized as a Satellite Symposium of the 98th General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), the Summit was sponsored by the Behavioral, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research (BEHSR) Scientific Group. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 IADR General Session was cancelled and the Summit postponed. The Summit was reimagined and its programming reconfigured so that the mission could be achieved via a virtual meeting and affiliated online activities.


The Summit was held over three days in October and November 2020. The event included presentations and panel discussions by dozens of experts in the field from around the world. More than 400 people attended the Summit, representing 57 countries, all career stages, and a wide range of behavioral and social science disciples and dental specialties. Several hundred additional registrants accessed Summit content after the live event.

The Summit focused on four overarching themes, including:​​

  • Behavioral and social theories, models, conceptual frameworks, and mechanisms related to oral health

  • Methodological issues in behavioral and social oral health research and practice

  • Intervention science: Developing and testing behavioral and social science approaches to promote oral health

  • Dissemination and implementation science for oral and craniofacial health

The Summit was planned, in part, to facilitate the development of a consensus statement highlighting the role of behavioral and social sciences in oral health as well as necessary future directions for the field. Read more about the Consensus Statement on Future Directions for the Behavioral and Social Sciences in Oral Health by clicking the "Consensus Statement" tab on this website.

Published proceedings are in preparation and will appear in a special issue of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology in late 2022. Check this website for updates.

The Summit was organized with considerable guidance from and program planning by members of its Steering Committee, in partnership with IADR BEHSR leadership.

Summit Co-Organizers:

Daniel W. McNeil, PhD, West Virginia University

Cameron L. Randall, PhD, University of Washington

Summit Steering Committee:

Sarah Baker, PhD, The University of Sheffield

Belinda Borrelli, PhD, Boston University

Jacqueline Burgette, DMD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Barry Gibson, PhD, The University of Sheffield

Lisa J. Heaton, PhD, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health

George Kitsaras, PhD, The University of Manchester

Colman McGrath, PhD, The University of Hong Kong

J. Tim Newton, PhD, King's College London

Elise Rice, PhD, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Melissa Riddle, PhD, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

For more information, contact Drs. Dan McNeil ( and Cameron Randall (

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