The US Dominates the ARWU’s Best Dental Schools for 2018

Todays Dental News

Posted in Partners achievements on 26.07.2018

Zeynep Aytac works with a 3D-Discovery Bioprinter at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.

American undergrads looking for a world-class dental education won’t have to travel far, according to ShanghaiRanking’s 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The United States is home to 13 of the top 25 dental schools,  and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of North  Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Washington, and Harvard  University took first through fourth place, respectively.

ShanghaiRanking based its findings on a survey of 1,500 deans,  chairs, and heads of faculties and departments of the top 100  universities across a range of subjects. Questions on the survey focused  on publications in the top tier journals in dentistry, the most  influential and credible awards in the profession, and researchers who  have contributed the most to the field, with an emphasis on research  performance and reputation.

The University of Michigan

This is the second strong showing for the University of Michigan  School of Dentistry this year. In March, Quacquarelli Symonds rated it  first in the United States and third in the world. The school also  received $16.3 million from the National Institute of Dental and  Craniofacial Research in fiscal 2017, which is more than any other  dental institution in the country. Recent projects have focused on  childhood caries prevention, head and neck cancer, and regenerating  tissue lost to disease, injury, or congenital disorders. 

In fact, the school is launching its Dental Postgraduate Program in  Regenerative Dentistry this fall. The 12-month program will focus on  biomaterials and tissue engineering applied to dental, oral, and  craniofacial tissue regeneration. Students will receive in-depth  didactic and research training on the principles of tissue engineering  and its applications in the field. A full-year research project will  provide hands-on experience as well. But it will be a competitive  program, with only four students accepted each year. 

Also this fall, construction will begin on a major renovation and  addition. The $140 million project will update and expand its facilities  for teaching dental students, serving patients from around Michigan,  and conducting world-class scientific research designed to advance the  dental profession, the school reports. About half the existing facility  will be renovated, and about 48,000 square feet will be added. Several  major phases will allow the school to continue its educational,  scientific, and clinical mission during the work, with completion  expected in 2022.

“We’re obviously pleased to be rated as the top dental school in the  world,” said Laurie McCauley, DDS, MS, PhD, dean of the school. “The  school’s dedication to excellence and leadership in dentistry, dental  education, and research is a tradition that dates to the early days  after our founding in 1875. The extraordinary commitment of our faculty,  students, and researchers is on display in the clinics, labs, and  classrooms of our school every day. It’s gratifying to see that  acknowledged by these independent rankings.” 

The University of Washington

The University of Washington School of Dentistry has focused on  rebooting its curriculum around “the Dentist of the Future.” Nine  threads encompass the core competencies of general dentistry, including  the foundations of human health and disease, dental and maxillofacial  surgery, medical management of the dental patient, practice management,  health promotion and disease prevention and communication, ethics and  professionalism, critical thinking, care of diverse populations, and  restoration of form and function. 

“Our faculty members and staff have worked very hard over recent  years to thoroughly revamp the curriculum,” said Gordon, DDS, MS, the  school’s associate dean of academic affairs. “The school aims to lead  the world in producing dental graduates who are not only technically  excellent but also have enhanced medical, interprofessional, and  critical thinking skills necessary for the changing world of dentistry.”

The school offers an integrated systems-based biomedical foundations  curriculum, a third-year clerkship skills program, and a  comprehensive-care fourth-year program. Students in the third-year  clerkship program serve in a series of six-week and 12-week clinical  rotations designed to provide a more intensive exposure to the core  skills of general dentistry, while the fourth-year clinical program  duplicates the wide-ranging experience of general dental practice. 

The school believes this emphasis has paid off, as its fourth-year  students recorded aggregate scores on the clinical proficiency portion  of the national exam that placed them in the nation’s top two or three  classes in 2017 and 2018. Also, predoctoral students can choose a  research track that trains them in requisite skills and places them in  faculty labs, where they can complete a research project. Community  service is emphasized as well, with all predoctoral students serving in  community clinics from five weeks to five months.