As a distinguished resource for dental education in Texas for more than 100 years, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry in Dallas is dedicated to combining higher education and research with community service.
The college opened its doors in 1905, was affiliated with Baylor University from 1918 to 1971 and spent the next 25 years as an independent, private institution.
In 1996, the college entered an entirely new era as a member of The Texas A&M University System. In 1999, the college became a founding component of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, and in 2012 merged with Texas A&M University.
Educating Dental Professionals, Scientists and Academicians since 1905
Texas A&M University College of Dentistry is a synergistic environment where students learn life lessons -- in addition to dental medicine -- from a diverse patient population. These patients help prepare the dental school's students for the real-life challenges and opportunities awaiting them upon graduation.
Since its founding, the college has graduated more than 9,000 dentists and dental hygienists. The college is known internationally for producing excellent clinicians. More than half of all the dentists in the Dallas/Fort Worth area received their dental education at the college, and nearly one-third of all dentists in Texas are Texas A&M University College of Dentistry graduates. Enrollment for the 2013-2014 academic year was 594, and 93 percent of dental graduates during the same period were licensed in Texas.
Dental hygiene degree and postdoctoral opportunities
The college also graduates the largest number of dental hygienists with bachelor's degrees in the state. The college recognizes the importance of making opportunities available for graduates to enter a post-graduate experience prior to licensure. Therefore, in addition to the doctor of dental surgery and bachelor's degree in dental hygiene, the college offers a variety of postdoctoral certificate and degree programs that now reaches all four years of the dental curriculum.
Excellence in Research
Texas A&M University College of Dentistry is changing its curriculum to show students how research is relevant in clinical practice. In spring 2008, the college received an Oral Health Research Education (R25) grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The grant, named "CUSPID," Clinicians Using Science to Produce Inspired Dentists helped the college create curricular initiatives centered on evidence-based dentistry.
A&M College of Dentistry's Dental Simulation Clinic opened in fall 2002 as the first in Texas and one of only about 22 in North America. This innovative facility gives preclinical students close-to-real-life clinic experiences through the use of mannequins, hand pieces, air/water syringes and rolling stools, with each of the laboratory's 106 stations designed much like a dental operatory.
The college continues its commitment to a competency-based curriculum. This curriculum is tailored to match specific competencies that the college has developed through an inclusive process involving faculty and students, as well as input from alumni and the practicing dental community. the college's comprehensive-care program encourages a patient-centered approach to clinical education, advances the role of faculty as mentors, integrates dental hygiene into the comprehensive-care team, and facilitates computerized patient tracking.
Bridge to Dentistry: Awareness to Graduation program
In an effort to attract young people from underserved populations and/or underserved areas into the dental profession, A&M College of Dentistry established its Bridge to Dentistry: Awareness to Graduation program. The program's activities include summer enrichment programs for high school and college students to increase their competitiveness for admission to dental school, a yearlong program that promotes college graduates' admission into dental school, and a variety of programs aimed at encouraging and enabling school-aged children to pursue dental careers. In 2014, Bridge to Dentistry reached more than 3,300 children and young adults.
Increasing Access to Oral Health Care
Texas A&M University College of Dentistry is the single largest provider of oral health care services in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The college had more than 103,000 patient visits last year.
The college provided community service for about 41,000 individuals last year. This included: treatment in various community clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and jails; oral health education at local schools; and oral screenings at health fairs.
The average number of days that students rendered care at external clinics increased from nine to eleven. Two new clinics were added in 2012-2013, the Healing Hands and North Dallas Shared Ministries.
For the past 24 years, A&M College of Dentistry has renewed the dental reimbursement grant, part of the Ryan White Care Act, to support and care for patients who are HIV positive or have the AIDS virus. To date, the reimbursement exceeds $2.3 million. With more than 12,000 patients covered, the grant allows people who are HIV positive or have the AIDS virus to receive quality, low-cost dental care while contributing to diversified clinical experiences for students. Texas A&M University College of Dentistry's Caruth School of Dental Hygiene was the first hygiene program in the nation to apply for and receive Ryan White grant funding.
Practicing dental professionals and their patients benefit from a variety of patient-care services offered by the college through its specialized centers and programs. In 2012-2013 A&M College of Dentistry provided to more than 16,000 patients in the college's specialized centers.
Seeking Innovation through Dental and Craniofacial Research
Research expenditures in 2013 exceeded $3.4 million. Through research, college faculty members are opening new doors in a wide range of areas including craniofacial development and genetics, mineralized tissue biology, bioengineering and regeneration, craniofacial pain and a variety of translational clinical research projects involving implants, periodontal disease management, salivary gland dysfunction, cancer detection and tobacco sensation.
The dental school's Office of Technology Development was established in 2006 to facilitate technology transfer by working cooperatively with researchers whose work possesses commercialization potential. The office is housed within the Texas A&M University College of Dentistry Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.
Downtown Dallas from Texas A&M University College of Dentistry