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About our school

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry is the state's only dental school and the only dental school in the northern tier of states between Wisconsin and the Pacific Northwest. We are a regional resource to five states for dental education, consulting services, patient treatment, and ongoing continuing dental education.

Moos Tower

The School of Dentistry educates general dentists, dental specialists, dental therapists, dental hygienists, dental educators and research-scientists. For more than two decades, we've offered specialty training in six ADA-recognized specialties: Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics and Prosthodontics.

We also offer an advanced education program in TMD and orofacial pain, oral biology, dental hygiene, and oral health for older adults.

Dentists who are graduates of dental schools outside of the United States and Canada wishing to practice in the United States train here, as well. A novel, interdisciplinary Dentist-Scientist Training Program rounds out our educational offerings.

Our work affects nearly every person in Minnesota. We educate 73% of the state's practicing dentists, 68% of Minnesota's licensed dental therapists, and 49% of its dental hygiene educators. Our researchers develop and test dental materials used by every dentist in the state and around the world.

Our students and faculty treat patients: 105,260 patient-visits each year in our Twin Cities' campus clinics and 48,700 in outreach sites located in underserved communities throughout the state. We provide continuing dental education for 7,100 practicing dental professionals each year.

The School of Dentistry has earned an international reputation for its educational, clinical, research, service, and patient care programs.

In September 2009, we became the first dental school in the nation to educate dental therapists.

Our students are professional leaders. First in the nation to become full members of their state professional association, our dental students comprise the 8th District Dental Society of the Minnesota Dental Association (MDA). They participate on association committees and its Board of Trustees, and have voting privileges at the MDA House of Delegates.

We are the only dental hygiene program in the state associated with a dental school. We offer programs at both the baccalaureate and master of science degree levels. 

Dean Leon A. Assael leads the school in its mission, vision and core values.

In 2010, the School of Dentistry received the coveted Gies Award for Vision (from the American Dental Education Association) for helping to advance new standards for the initial licensure of dental graduates. A second Gies Award (2013) recognized the school's biomaterials research center for its 30 year history of research and development in partnership with 3M. In 2016, School of Dentistry Professor Mark Herzberg, D.D.S., Ph.D., won the Gies Award for Vision, Innovation and Achievement while the School of Dentistry, along with the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, and the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, won the ADEAGies Award for Vision by a Public or Private Partner for joint efforts to develop dental therapy education in Minnesota.

We are a proud recipient of the University of Minnesota's Equity and Diversity Outstanding Unit Award.

We are committed to a comprehensive approach to managing patient care while simultaneously applying the benefits of discipline-based clinical instruction. Our faculty reflects a mix of tenure and tenure-track clinical specialists, along with well-respected and clinically astute adjunct faculty to complement the strengths of full-time academic clinicians.

In 2007, we transformed our pre-clinical lab into an $11.5 million, state-of-the-art teaching center, featuring 108 patient simulation stations, 20 advanced simulators with virtual reality computer programs, two conference and classrooms, a dental lab and a research technology lab.

We have earned a world-wide reputation for contributions to the understanding of fluoride and decay prevention, microbiology, and oral-facial genetic anomalies. We are a research leader in virology, biomaterials, the mechanisms of pain and bone development, and in the relationship between oral health & general health.

Our researchers discovered a "molecular motor" and clues to the way viruses assemble and infect new cells. We also developed a mechanical mouth (ART) capable of duplicating the effects of one year of chewing in a single day that is used to help develop and test dental materials. ART was displayed at the Smithsonian.

Our patient clinics are open to the public. We provide team-based, comprehensive dental care, including all general and specialty dental services for children and adults. Care is provided by dental, dental therapy, dental hygiene and/or dental residents under the supervision of School of Dentistry faculty. Our patients reflect the diversity of the Twin Cities community and account for more than 105,260 patient-visits annually.

Special clinics provide interdisciplinary education and care for people with cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies and/or head and facial pain and those with special needs (e.g. ambulatory patients, hospital in-patients, and general dentistry in an operating room, with an emphasis on the medically, cognitively and physically challenged patient.)

We operate four floors of dental clinics and surgical suites in our Moos Tower clinics, with 377 spacious operatories in over 71,000 square feet of clinic space.

Community outreach is an integral part of our education and service missions. Senior students treat patients under faculty supervision in one of the school’s 15 outreach sites located in the Twin Cities; throughout Greater Minnesota and the Dakotas; and aboard a touring mobile dental unit.

Students complete 9-12 weeks of community-based service learning as a requirement for graduation.

We believe that our dental students are the future of the profession, and that alumni relations begin in dental school and last a lifetime.

Our accomplished graduates include the co-inventor of the Sonicare toothbrush, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, four presidents of the American Dental Association, and two deans of dental schools in China.

Part of a prestigious whole

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry is located on a classic Big Ten campus in the heart of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area and primarily housed in the Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower, a state-of-the-art setting for research, teaching and practicing dentistry and dental hygiene.

With four campuses, 4,500 faculty members, and more that 45,000 students, the University of Minnesota is one of the nation's largest, most comprehensive public institutions of higher learning. It is both a land-grant university with a strong tradition of education and public service, and a major research institution with scholars of national and international reputation.

The School of Dentistry part of the University's Academic Health Center (AHC)—one of the most comprehensive education and research facilities for health professionals in the nation—students and faculty reap the unique benefits of being part of an exceptionally broad range of professional health education, research and treatment efforts.

Accredited and connected

Undergraduate dental and dental hygiene programs and all specialty training programs are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

The School of Dentistry is a member of the American Dental Education Association and for many decades, has prided itself on its relationship with the Minnesota Dental Association (MDA). Many dental school faculty members serve on MDA committees and several have held elected offices.