The School of Dentistry has deep roots

The School kicked-off its centennial celebrations, Jan. 18.

Dentistry Staff - 19 January 2017

It's official. The School of Dentistry is 100 years-old. The School came to be at a time when Canada was in the middle of the greatest conflict the world had seen-World War 1.

It was the only dental school in Western Canada until 1957 and the first dental clinics had only seven chairs.

Over the years, dentistry has proven to be vital to the health of its communities through programs like the Satellite Clinics, Glenrose Rehabilitation Dental Clinic, Boyle McCauley Health Centre/SHINE Clinic, the Long Term Care Community Assessment and Treatment Program, and, last but not least, the main dentistry clinic on campus, which last year saw just over 40,000 patients.

"Dentistry and dental hygiene graduates perform essential services within our community. Faculty researchers create broad health benefits through their work. They investigate not only oral and dental health, but also the relationship between oral and chronic diseases," says University of Alberta president David Turpin, during the opening ceremony held at Lister Hall. "On behalf of the university, I want to congratulate everyone on a century of outstanding teaching, learning, research, and especially, service."

In 1962, the School of Dental Hygiene was established under the leadership of Margaret Berry MacLean, and graduate studies with clinical specialties in orthodontics, pedodontics and prosthodontics along with a Master of Science in Oral Biology was approved by the University.

Today the school has six masters' programs and four PhD programs, with a total of more than 40 graduate students, they are half way through a curriculum renewal for the DDS program, and conduct research in four distinct areas: Biomedical Oral Health, Educational Research and Scholarship, Oral Health Clinical and Translational, and Population and Community Oral Health.

"Our pursuit of leadership, scholarship and social accountability has led us to a status we enjoy today in dentistry," says Paul Major, chair and professor at the School of Dentistry. "In its history, dental education at the University has had turbulent times, but with tenacity and relentless efforts of many, we have been able to reach this great milestone."