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Spirit is published three times per year by the Texas A&M Foundation, which manages major gifts and endowments for the benefit of academic programs, scholarships and student activities at Texas A&M University.

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Opportunity

Hello, Dallas!

A new nine-story Clinic and Education Building in downtown Dallas will allow the College of Dentistry to increase student enrollment and provide better, state-of-the-art patient care.

Roughly one-third of the state’s dental practitioners have graduated from the Texas A&M College of Dentistry. It is one of only two dental colleges in the nation offering training in all nine oral health specializations. Each year, dental school student practitioners engage in more than 100,000 visits with patients—many of whom are from low-income, underserved communities—for a fraction of the price of a private practice visit. This makes the college the largest single provider of oral health care in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

If you didn’t know that Texas A&M University even had a dental school, however, you’re not alone: Even Aggies who have lived in Dallas for years are often unaware of their alma mater’s presence just a mile east of downtown.

But that’s about to change. 

The end of 2019 will mark the beginning of an era for the dental college—one that reflects a “whole health” educational focus, which prioritizes team- and technology-driven methods to patient care over traditional siloed approaches. Going hand-in-hand with the innovative curriculum will be a state-of-the-art, nine-story Clinic and Education Building with the Texas A&M logo that will greet drivers as they approach the rapidly growing Baylor University Medical Center.

“This new building is positioned to be a gateway to the area from downtown and will give Texas A&M a huge presence in the medical center,” said Dr. Steve Griffin, the dental college’s associate dean for clinical affairs. “It’s designed for the kind of patient-centered care that will attract new patients and provide a better level of comfort for our existing patients.”

Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky, dean of the dental college, said the new clinical space will also enable the college to increase its current enrollment of about 600 students by 25 percent. With a critical shortage of dental health professionals that is only predicted to worsen, Texas is in dire need of these graduates. “Without Texas A&M, the tremendous statewide need for dental care would go unmet,” he said. “It simply can’t be accommodated by those already practicing.”
 

Contact:

Melissa Ogden

Director of Development of College of Dentistry
Health Science Center