Message from the Dean
As cool weather arrives and the academic year is in full swing, I am delighted to report that all is going well and the School of Dental Medicine is thriving.
The School of Dental Medicine was established in 1968, with the first class of 24 students graduating in 1977. Since then, the school has grown tremendously in its offerings of dental education, patient care, basic and translational research and community service. The school remains focused on the overall wellbeing of patients, and thus has integrated its curriculum with that of the School of Medicine since its inception. Students devote two years to joint didactic training and hospital-based clinical rotations, with additional rotations at Long Island hospitals.
The school accepts 42 students per class and is considered one of the top dental schools in the nation. As the school's reputation for excellence has grown nationally and internationally, our number of applicants has soared. This year, an unprecedented 1,239 applications were received for the 42 positions in our first-year class. In mid-September we welcomed the class of 2017 and these students have hit the deck running.
We consider our 1,100 alumni to be one of our greatest assets and strengths. We are constantly working with them to expand our education programs and fundraising efforts for scholarships and other forms of support. I am proud that many alumni have returned to serve in part-time or volunteer faculty positions or be a part of external events to help reinforce our efforts to deliver quality information to the community at large.
The School of Dental Medicine has an exceptional research record. We are considered one of the leading schools in the US for translational research. The school recently concluded a major NIH-funded initiative to investigate the relationship between periodontal disease treatment and diabetes. New funding from NIDCR through the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award will focus on development of a new class of anti-inflammatory agents for periodontal disease treatment.
In patient care, the Dental Care Center at the School of Dental Medicine is the largest provider of oral care for the 3 million residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties. Patients registered at the Dental Care Center grew to 13,678 in 2012, resulting in 65,187 patient visits.
Our outreach efforts are significant. This past academic year we had 186 programs on Long Island, with international outreach efforts in Chile, Jamaica and Madagascar, as well as our program in South Dakota. Our mobile dental van is now going to underserved areas of Long Island 2-3 times a week. This is a tremendous increase in our outreach to the underserved using the mobile van. We are excited about the completion of the NY State HEAL Phase 6 grant expansion and renovation which has provided an additional 35 operatories for patient care. This clinic expansion allows us to provide more dental care more efficiently to the citizens of New York State. I would also note that the new waiting room is extraordinary.
We are particularly proud of our Accreditation Site Visit which occurred September 24-26 of this year. I am delighted to report that we passed with flying colors. The School of Dental Medicine predoctoral (DDS) program received nine verbal commendations and no recommendations or suggestions for change or improvement. While each school being reviewed hopes to receive no recommendations, it is unprecedented to receive no suggestions; thus, following the site visit, our school is in a very elite category.
Clearly the School of Dental Medicine is an active and successful school. Thank you to so many who help make this a “very special place”.
Ray C. Williams, DMD
Dean, School of Dental Medicine
Stony Brook University