Reaccreditation Received by School of Dental Medicine

Dental resident Roberta Wright tends to a patient. (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health Photo)
UConn School of Dental Medicine has received national reaccreditation by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation, with no recommendations for improvement. (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health Photo)

SHARELINES

UConn School of Dental Medicine has received national reaccreditation by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

The Commission oversees the 65 accredited dental schools and a total of 1,450 dental programs nationwide, ensuring that they meet the highest professional and ethical standards. Every seven years, it performs a comprehensive review of each dental school or program to evaluate and assess its quality.

“Our reaccreditation sets our School of Dental Medicine’s future course for the next seven years,” says Dr. Monty MacNeil, dean of UConn School of Dental Medicine. “We are proud to report that we received no recommendations [for improvement] from the Commission. In fact, we have received an all-positive review by the Commission for the past four reaccreditation cycles – that spans a 28-year period. This is a remarkable, unprecedented result, and I applaud the dedication and teamwork of our great faculty, staff, and students who together have contributed so much to this outcome.”

This past October, the Commission’s team of 18 surveyors visited the School for three days for an in-depth onsite review. They reviewed all aspects of the School; conducted extensive interviews with leadership, members of the administration, faculty, staff, students, and residents; toured the educational, research, and clinical facilities; and observed patient care sessions.

The UConn School of Dental Medicine received no recommendations, the best outcome that can be achieved by a dental school. — Dr. Steven Lepowsky

Prior to the onsite review and beginning in 2012, the School completed a self-analysis and self-study report detailing its resources, curriculum, policies, and operational standards. The self-study was led by Dr. Steven Lepowsky, the School’s senior associate dean for education and patient care, and Dr. Jacqueline Duncan, director of predoctoral prosthodontics, who was chair of the self-study group.

“The UConn School of Dental Medicine received no recommendations, the best outcome that can be achieved by a dental school,” said Lepowsky. “This demonstrates that the school meets or exceeds all the standards set forth by CODA. This is a remarkable achievement for a dental education program – even more so for a school with a large number of advanced education programs.”

CODA granted accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements” to the School’s programs in dental education, advanced education in general dentistry, advanced specialty education programs in endodontics, oral and maxillofacial radiology, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics.

In December 2016, the School’s program in oral and maxillofacial surgery will have a CODA site visit as part of a separate five-year accreditation cycle.

UConn School of Dental Medicine, part of UConn Health, is Connecticut’s only school of dentistry and the only public dental school in New England. It is a leader in dental education, dental medicine, research, and community outreach.

The School offers a full-range of clinical dental services, and last year provided care for nearly 75,000 dental patients. Nearly 70 percent of visits to its dental clinics are by underserved patients.

“In the coming seven years, we will sustain our excellence through offering even better patient care, facilitated in part through renovated, expanded facilities,” says MacNeil. “We are planning to grow both our clinical care footprint and also our dental school’s research enterprise. For example, we will be collaborating to create a new cross-campus, three-school Department of Biomedical Engineering with faculty from UConn’s schools of medicine, dental medicine, and engineering. Initiatives like these will bring new opportunities for our school to lead and excel in the years ahead.”