School of Dentistry


MISSION: To optimize oral health in Alabama and beyond.

VISION: Leading oral health care.

STRATEGIC PLAN SUMMARY: Our values of excellence, patient-centered care, innovation, and teamwork are the guiding principles to the development of the plan. Our goals fall into 5 main themes: Research, Patient Experience, Students, Facilities, and Faculty. We are excited about the future of our School and look forward to collaborating with internal and external constitutes to accomplish our goals.

Research

Goals:

  • National Dental Practice Based Research Network: A unique investigative union of real-world practicing dentists and academic scientists working together to improve the nation’s oral health by building the knowledge base for clinical decision-making and moving the latest evidence into routine care.   Practicing dentists suggest problems and provide data and observations; UAB researchers investigate solutions and communicate these back to the practitioners.
  • Craniofacial and Dental Genetics: An inter- and multi-disciplinary integrated forum for the diagnosis, treatment, and development of novel therapeutics and gene discovery of disorders and syndromes related to the craniofacial. This program is designed to bring together basic scientists, geneticists, epidemiologists, molecular and developmental biologists to understand underlying causes of normal and abnormal development.
  • Oral Microbiome & Overall Health Research Program: A multi-disciplinary collaboration to determine the genomic, molecular, and cellular basis of oral microbiome and host interactions. The intent of the program is to study the impact of oral microbiome on disease outcomes in the oral cavity and in other parts of the body including cardiovascular, osteoarthritis, and diabetes.
  • Oral Cancer Research Program: According to the CDC, more than 30,000 new cases of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx are diagnosed each year and more than 8,000 deaths are caused by oral cancer. This multi-disciplinary collaboration will look at the cellular basis of the disease and identify new methods of prevention and treatment.

Patient Experience

Goals:

  • UAB Dentistry Cares Community Day: This program challenges dental professionals and shelters around the state to work in partnership with the School to provide free dental care to low and no-income adults and raises awareness of the increasing difficulty low-income adults’ face in accessing critical dental care.
  • Electronic Dental Record: Innovative technology moving the paper dental chart to an electronic dental record housed in a centralized practice management software, building the bridge to integrating medical and dental records.
  • First Impressions Program – Digital Signage: Electronic message boards networked together to promote branding, share internal information with faculty, staff, and students; and, enhance the patient experience by providing a platform to illustrate and communicate important dental health information.   Visual, interactive dentistry in 2D.
  • Wellness Clinic: A new and innovative clinic devoted to promoting healthy living and the prevention of illness and disease by bringing the holistic approach in medical care to dental care, providing patient’s optimal health care.

Students

Goals:

  • Diversity Recruitment: With rapid change in demographics our classrooms must reflect those changes. Integrating global talent into the classroom with a concentration on underrepresented minorities to ensure a critical mass of diversity within the dental profession is a mission we are passionate about at the School of Dentistry.
  • New Education Model: Blending the traditional classroom with an on-line classroom will provide more flexibility and convenience to students and capture the richness that great instructors bring to the classroom. Delivering high quality learning experiences to students will enhance their educational experience by increasing student engagement, giving them more time to absorb the material and increase overall achievement.
  • New Degree/Certificate Programs: Programs that allow students flexibility in designing degree programs that relate to their personal academic and career goals is critical to preparing them to be educationally competitive in today’s ever changing job market. Developing multidisciplinary fields of study will encourage and support creativity, innovation, and critical thinking and allow students’ a structured study format.

Facilities

Goal:

  • Facilities: Modern, well-equipped and maintained facilities have a strong influence on the recruitment and retention of students, patients, and faculty. Renovating student laboratories, clinical space, and classrooms is one key to making UAB Dentistry the best place to work, learn, and seek patient care.

Faculty

Goal:

  • Philanthropy: Philanthropy plays an important role in the success of our School because support from generous donors allows us to establish endowments and professorships used to recruit and retain talented faculty. Building academic excellence is critical to the growth of our School and private giving helps us bridge the financial gap experienced as a result of declining state resources.