University of Utah opens state’s first academic dental school

<p dir=”ltr”><span>The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry estimates that</span> <a href=””><span>99.7% of Americans</span></a> <span>– in other words, virtually everyone — believes that a beautiful smile can be one of the most vital and important social assets.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>That’s especially true at the University of Utah, which recently unveiled its newly constructed $36 million School of Dentistry facility.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Students looking to become state-educated dentists at the University of Utah</span> <a href=””><span>previously learned their trade by performing dental check-ups on dummy heads,</span></a> <span>with inadequate classroom space for lab classes.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The university’s new 85,000-square-foot dentistry facility, in contrast, has plenty of room for lab classes and classroom lectures, along with a fully functioning dental clinic equipped with 62 dental stations.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>University officials say the school of dentistry’s clinic will benefit thousands Utah residents who lack access to affordable dental care. The University of Utah’s dentistry building was financed with a $30 million donation from the Ray and Tye Noorda family, along with other contributions. Because the building is fully paid off, students will be able to perform dental procedures at a much lower cost than practicing dentists.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Interim dean Glen Hanson explains that the dental school will benefit the community, as well, by taking some of the charity load off local dentists who can’t afford to perform free or reduced-cost dental work.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>”We’re not here to compete with community dentists,” Hanson says. “I think we can partner with them and make sure people who need this care can get access to it.”</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The school’s dental clinic features an oral surgery suite, as well as a special suite for child patients that features TV screens hung from the ceiling, so kids can watch cartoons as they have their teeth cleaned.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Within less than two years of opening, Hanson says the university’s school of dentistry has</span> <a href=””><span>already made a name for itself as one of the country’s best programs,</span></a> <span>with students who perform in the top 20th percentile of all dental schools.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>As hopeful dental students from across the country begin to flock to the University of Utah’s all-new educational facility, the school’s reputation can only go upward.</span></p>

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