Dr. Robert E. Smith Jr., 64, a dentist in Washington for 30 years who also was a clinical instructor in oral surgery at the Howard University dental school, died of cancer Jan. 21 at his home in Washington.

Dr. Smith, who was born in St. Augustine, Fla., moved to Washington in 1937. He served in the Army in the Pacific during World War II and then took a bachelor's degree at Howard. He earned his dental degree there in 1951.

He established a private practice in Washington in 1952 and continued it until his retirement last year. He also had been a consultant to the Defense Department.

Dr. Smith was a former chairman of the oral surgery committee of the D.C. chapter of the American Cancer Society. He also had been active in Republican Party affairs and was chairman of the party's health and welfare committee in the District.

He was a fellow of the American College of Dentists and a member of the D.C. and Robert T. Freeman dental societies and the American and National dental associations.

Survivors include his wife, Cordella Burwell Smith of Washington; two daughters, Linda L. Smith of Washington and Rebecca Smith Williams of New York City, and one granddaughter.