Room with a view
The start of 2020 ushered in a new era in dental education for Texas A&M College of Dentistry.
The opening of the college’s new 160,000-square-foot, nine-story Clinic and Education Building enables the dental school to increase underserved patients’ access to care and shift from a traditional disciplined-based approach to a “whole health” educational model. To celebrate this milestone, the college will hold a building dedication on Thursday, Jan. 23.
The new building—featuring nearly 300 dental-chair stations with the most advanced technology, specialized clinics, clinical support areas, classrooms and study spaces—is the first stand-alone building constructed for the dental school since 1950. Long-needed, dental-school-specific patient parking will be available on the first three levels of the new structure.
“Patients and students are at the heart of what we do,” said Dr. Lawrence E. Wolinsky, dean. “The new clinical building is truly going to help the college meet the ever-expanding need for reputable patient-centered care in a compassionate environment. Our students will gain a unique learning experience that will benefit them throughout their professional careers.”
As a result of these new facilities, the capacity for patient visits, which currently number approximately 100,000 per year, is expected to increase by up to 40 percent. To address the shortage of dental health care providers in the state’s underserved areas, the dental school’s goal is to increase enrollment while maintaining its position as one of the nation’s most diverse dental schools.
Construction of the new $127 million facility was completed at the end of 2019. Approximately $72 million of the building’s estimated cost came from approval for bond authority that the A&M Health Science Center received from the Texas Legislature during the 2015 session.
“This is an exciting time as we reach a new milestone in the history of the College of Dentistry,” Wolinsky said.