Dendritic nanomaterials have attracted a great deal of scientific interest due to their high capacity for multifunctionalization and potential in various biomedical applications, such as drug/gene delivery and diagnostic systems. Depending on the molecular structure and starting monomers, several different types of dendrimers have been developed, including poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM), poly(propylenimine) (PPI), and poly(L-lysine) (PLL) dendrimers, in addition to modified dendritic nanomaterials, such as Janus dendrimers and dendritic block copolymers. The chemical structure and surface modification of dendritic nanomaterials have been found to play a critical role in governing their biological behaviors. In this review, we present a comprehensive overview focusing on the synthesis and chemical structures of dendrimers and modified dendritic nanomaterials that are currently being investigated for drug delivery, gene delivery, and diagnostic applications. In addition, the impact of chemical surface modification and functionalization to the dendritic nanomaterials on their therapeutic and diagnostic applications are highlighted.