At Penn Dental Medicine, we are dedicated to educating students in the highest quality, clinical research environment. Since 1878, we have been committed to providing comprehensive, patient-centered oral health care within the scope of our educational programs. Our clinics are characterized by:
Innovation: Expanding knowledge through cutting-edge research, we use the latest technology in evidence-based practices.
Inclusion: We value diversity and respect for all as we create and cultivate our team of faculty, students, and staff.
Impact: We provide high quality, comprehensive dental care in all clinics, making a difference in educational research and clinical outreach initiatives both locally and globally.
For our patients, this means access to the highest quality, affordable services in every dental speciality. At every visit, they receive patient-centered care from student doctors who are being trained and guided by the best in the profession: Penn Dental Medicine faculty doctors.
The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (often referred to as Penn Dental Medicine or simply Penn Dental) is the dental school of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), an Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is one of twelve graduate schools at Penn and one of several dental schools in Pennsylvania. It is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn Dental Medicine's earliest instance was the Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery, which was founded in 1852. The school was renamed the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in 1878. That same year, Dr. Charles J. Essig founded the Dental Department of the University of Pennsylvania, serving as the first Dean until 1883. Later, in 1909, the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery was absorbed into the Penn.
The school's first facilities were housed in Medical Hall, later renamed Logan Hall and now Claudia Cohen Hall. This building was later home to the Wharton School, and currently houses several departments of the School of Arts and Sciences. In 1879, Penn Dental Medicine moved to Dental Hall, its first own building.
In 1897, a dentist and native of Philadelphia by the name of Thomas W. Evans left his estate to create and maintain a dental school that would be "not inferior to any already established." Evans' generosity made possible the construction of the Evans Building (officially called the Thomas W. Evans Museum and Dental Institute) which opened in 1915, the best-equipped dental building in the nation at that time.
In 1909, the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery merges its assets and records with Penn.
Penn Dental has three main buildings, all of which are connected to each other. The Robert Schattner Center, dedicated in 2002, serves as the main entrance to the Dental campus. It has clinical facilities on three levels dedicated to oral surgery to oral and maxillofacial surgery, an emergency clinic, and a faculty practice. The center bears the name of visionary benefactor and Penn Dental alumnus Robert Schattner (D’48), whose gift played a leadership role in successfully funding the building project.
The Leon Levy Center for Oral Health Research, dedicated in 1969, is the school's hub of research activities, made possible by the generosity of Dr. Leon Levy (D'15). Levy spent most of his life in the communications field (including helping form the Columbia Broadcasting System). The center plays a pivotal role in Penn Dental, providing a home for basic science faculty and the facilities needed to support research programs. Penn remains among the few dental schools in the country with its own basic science faculty and a leader in oral health sciences research.
The Thomas W. Evans Museum and Dental Institute, originally dedicated in 1915, is named for one of Penn Dental's earliest benefactors, Thomas W. Evans. Evans built a dental career on the other side of the Atlantic, becoming the dental surgeon and confidant of Napoleon III. The collegiate gothic, Tutor-style building was considered the most advanced dental teaching facility in the nation when completed in 1915 and helped establish new standards for teaching clinical dentistry in the United States. Today, the Evans Building remains the site of most of the school’s classroom instruction and clinical training.
In the atrium of the Schattner Center sits the carriage that Evans and Napoleon III's wife, Eugénie de Montijo, used to escape Prussia's invasion into France.
Research:The school’s research enterprise is multidisciplinary, spanning both the basic and clinical sciences, concerned with the structures and functions of tissues and fluids and microbial flora in the oral cavity. Collectively, Penn Dental Medicine investigators contribute to the emerging science and practices shaping dental care. Investigations range from such areas as oral microbiology and virology, inflammation and immunity, tooth development, and the use of analgesics and sedatives, to the cellular biology of connective tissues and bone, the applications for state-of-the-art dental materials, and the causes and effects of periodontal disease. Interdisciplinary research is a hallmark of the University of Pennsylvania, and Penn Dental Medicine investigators collaborate extensively with faculty throughout the Penn campus.