By LAURIE KAISER
Published November 29, 2023
The School of Dental Medicine (SDM) celebrated the completion of its renovated first-floor specialty clinic in Squire Hall with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 27. Approximately 60 guests — a mixture of students, faculty, staff and alumni — attended.
“Today, we are celebrating our latest achievement, a cutting-edge advance education-focused dental clinic,” said Marcelo Araujo, dean of the dental school. “This would have not been possible if it weren’t for the visionary plans developed by my predecessor, Dean Joseph Zambon, and supported by Interim Dean Stefan Ruhl.”
Araujo also thanked Matt Webber, facilities planning and management officer in the SDM; Paul Gareis, facilities program coordinator for Design and Construction, and the extended team that dedicated its talents and time to the project.
Designed by BKP Architects, the $3.4 million, 11,400-square-foot renovated clinic opened in August, following 14 months of construction. It contains 58 dental operatories that offer prosthodontics, periodontics, advanced education in general dentistry and endodontics postgraduate programs. Unique updates include CAD/CAM milling rooms, where state-of-the-art digital dentistry techniques enhance precision and efficiency in patient treatment.
This marks the first major renovation of the clinic since its opening in 1986.
“This clinic is not merely a physical space,” Araujo said. “It embodies our commitment to fostering a safe, inclusive and culturally competent environment.”
Every year the SDM sees more than 140,000 patient visits. Many of the patients are residents of Western New York with little or no access to professional dental care. Because the SDM is the largest dental Medicaid provider in Western New York, it serves as a safety net for the community.
Araujo was joined by Allison Brashear, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Eugena Stephan, associate dean for clinical affairs in the dental school; and Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
“As we reflect on the significance of this milestone, let us not forget the legacy of UB’s School of Dental Medicine, a legacy rooted in the university’s unwavering commitment to improving the health and well-being of our community,” Brashear said. “These clinics have been cornerstones of oral health care services, providing compassionate care and guidance to generations of patients. Today, we celebrate not just their revival but the revitalization of a commitment to health equity.”
Brashear emphasized that access to quality dental care should be a fundamental right, not a privilege.
“The mouth is the gateway to the body, and oral health plays a crucial role in overall health and well-being,” she said. “With a legacy of groundbreaking research and exceptional patient care, UB stands at the forefront of dental innovation, shaping the future of oral health for generations to come.”
Araujo noted that the SDM was ranked seventh in the United States and 11th globally in the 2023 Global Ranking by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, which speaks to the cutting-edge research conducted by dental school faculty who generated $8.8 million in research expenditures in the past year alone.
“The new clinic will now be the center of our advanced education,” he said, “and a great tool for us to recruit and retain the best residents and faculty for our school.”