Upon welcoming an inaugural class of 64 students in August 2013, the University of New England College of Dental Medicine became the first dental college in Northern New England. Shortly thereafter, the College dedicated its gleaming new Oral Health Center on UNE's Portland Campus.
In filling a glaring educational need for Maine and New England, the College of Dental Medicine is proud to serve students from Maine and its surrounding states, but also recognizes the national impact its program can have. Indeed, the inaugural class reflected a balance of students from New England and also from points well beyond. Of the initial 64 students, 24 hailed from Maine, representing more than 20 different towns. The rest found their way to UNE from 16 different U.S. states and Canada.
As one of the few private universities in the nation with a comprehensive health education mission that also includes programs in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and an array of allied health professions, UNE is uniquely positioned to play a transformative role in Dental Medicine education. Our program also gives us the opportunity to apply our existing expertise in clinical simulation, clinical education, and interprofessional education to a whole new discipline.
Our program offers a blend of time-tested methods and new innovations in Dental Medicine education. Our students are treated as members of the profession from the moment they arrive on campus, and are given opportunities to make real impacts in the lives of patients, in both urban and rural settings, who receive dental services through them.
The extensive practical experience built into our program allows students to provide care to simulated patients in their first year, and then to provide direct patient care in the Oral Health Center in their second and third years, before ultimately pursuing clinical experiences in communities throughout Northern New England and beyond in their fourth year.
Once the College of Dental Medicine is fully populated with students in all four years of the program, it will provide approximately 12,000-15,000 patient visits per year in the Oral Health Center and an additional 20,000-25,000 visits per year in the community-based network.
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