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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb 17, 2006    #024
Contact: School of Dentistry
(816) 235-2080

Celebrating 125 years of preparing dentists

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Dentistry is turning 125 this year. Students, faculty and administration will kick off celebrations with tours of the school, food, drinks, and entertainment Friday, March 17.

The celebration will happen concurrently with the school’s decades-old annual Midwest Dental Conference, which typically attracts 3,500 attendees. The conference will take place March 16 to 19, and will include some of the biggest names in continuing dental education as well as scientific sessions, technical exhibits and social activities.

History — The dental school began in 1881 as the Kansas City Dental College, making it the 10th dental education institution founded in the U.S. In 1919, the college merged with the Western Dental College to form the Kansas City-Western Dental College. In 1941, it joined the University of Kansas City. Finally, in 1963, the university and the dental school became UMKC School of Dentistry. It remains the only dental school in Missouri and Kansas.

Alumni — Of Missouri’s dentists, approximately 60 percent have been educated at UMKC. The dental school’s more than 7,500 alumni live in all 50 states and in a dozen countries. Each year, those alumni host the Midwest Dental Conference in Kansas City, which also serves as an annual alumni reunion.

Service — Inside the five-story dental school is a 280-chair general clinic and numerous specialty clinics where students and faculty provide treatment to about 33,000 patients annually. The school has 72,000 patients of record, which includes care that students provide to the indigent in Missouri, Kansas and abroad.

Research — The School of Dentistry is internationally recognized in research. Sponsored research from both federal and commercial sources has increased from $151,000 in 1985 to over $6.8 million in 2005. That includes a multi-year, multi-million dollar dental biomaterials research project funded by the National Institute of Dental Research. The school is currently pursuing research concentrations in tissue engineering and bone molecular biology.

Students — This year, the School of Dentistry received more than 1,000 applications for only 100 student spots. Students place first in national-level competitions. Graduating students put the school among the top five dental schools in the nation on part two of the National Board Exams.

The UMKC School of Dentistry provides a four-year curriculum that combines classroom education with clinical experience. The school maintains teaching relationships with six hospitals and five community health clinics, and outreach partnerships with 30 nonprofit and governmental organizations throughout Missouri and Kansas.

UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences and urban affairs.

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

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