Objective Following a successful 2005-2012 phase with three regional practice-based research networks (PBRNs), a single, unified national network called "The National Dental PBRN" was created in 2012 in the United States to improve oral health by conducting practice-based research and serving dental professionals through education and collegiality. Methods Central administration is based in Alabama. Regional centres are based in Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, New York and Texas, with a Coordinating Centre in Maryland. Ideas for studies are prioritized by the Executive Committee, comprised mostly of full-time clinicians. Results To date, 2763 persons have enrolled, from all six network regions; enrollment continues to expand. They represent a broad range of practitioners, practice types, and patient populations. Practitioners are actively improving every step of the research process, from idea generation, to study development, field testing, data collection, and presentation and publication. Conclusions Practitioners from diverse settings are partnering with fellow practitioners and academics to improve clinical practice and meet the needs of clinicians and their patients. Clinical significance This "nation's network" aims to serve as a precious national resource to improve the scientific basis for clinical decision-making and foster movement of the latest evidence into routine practice. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.