Then & Now: Dental Medicine
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the School of Dental Medicine (SDM) in 2023, we take a moment to look back at its many accomplishments and then look ahead to what’s next with Patrick Lloyd, who became dean of the school in 2022.
Howard Oaks, DMD, appointed inaugural dean of the School of Dental Medicine.
Oaks begins recruiting faculty.
The School opens in buildings on South Campus originally constructed for SBU’s mathematics program.
Patient Care Clinic opens.
First class of 23 new dentists graduate.
Professor Fred Ferguson initiates training students to care for special needs patients, later establishing the special needs dental care program.
Construction of interconnected lecture rooms and large meeting center begins.
Created the Geriatric Dentistry program.
Late 90s/Early 2000s
Students travel far and wide to provide care to those in need, including in remote and underserved areas throughout the United States, as well as international outreach trips to Madagascar, Chile and Kenya.
CaviStat, a cavity-fighting agent shown to be significantly more effective than fluoride, began clinical trials.
CaviStat was developed by Distinguished Professor Israel Kleinberg, who is widely considered as the “grandfather” of modern oral biology.
The Mobile Dental van debuts. In its 12 years of use, it has traveled more than 33,000 miles, providing care to more than 12,000 patients in communities across Long Island.
SDM faculty hold more than 390 patents.
Launched a school-based dental health program through which SDM provided free preventive oral healthcare services to elementary school students in the Riverhead Central School District.
SDM selected as one of five academic institutions nationally by the American College of Prosthodontists to pilot a digital dentistry curriculum.
Officially opened the doors to its Center for Implant and Digital Technology (CIDT), increasing access to CAD/CAM technologies for 15,000 patients and the community.
New Dean Patrick Lloyd takes the helm in July.
Second Mobile Dental van to debut later this year.
There are now more than 1,500 SDM DDS graduates
A Look Ahead
Dean Patrick Lloyd on what’s next for SDM.
What are the strengths driving SDM’s future?
Our school has long been recognized for its outstanding service to the public as well as for educational programs for dental students and specialists. In the world of dental research, we are known for our studies on inflammation, tissue engineering, clinical trials and product development. Looking ahead, we intend to recruit additional faculty to help us build on these clinical and research edicts, while also welcoming faculty who can grow the enterprise in areas that will improve patient care and increase research funding and scholarship.
During the upcoming year, we will also be focused on hiring key staff and faculty, beginning with a chair for our Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, a position that is our lead connection with Stony Brook Medicine. Additionally, because so many patients cite “pain” as the reason for their visits to the dentist, our highest priority is the recruitment of a pain researcher, who can collaborate with others on campus in exploring pain transmission and in the development of new approaches in pain management.
Tell us about the role of your special needs clinics.
The school’s reputation in caring for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities began with recruiting faculty who made this area of practice and education a priority. They saw the growing demand for special needs dental care in our community, and seized the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise with the next generation of oral healthcare providers — in turn helping to address that need.
Over the past 50 years, the school became a place where Long Island families seeking comprehensive dental care for their loved ones with special needs would feel welcome. Our special needs dental care clinics offer a comfortable environment for these patients. To create an even greater emphasis in the school for this specialized education and training, the school became one of the first in the country to offer a fellowship in the care of special needs patients.
How will you be furthering care in the community?
With the growing need for dental care for underserved populations on Long Island and in New York, we are looking to provide our students and residents with experiences that haven’t been readily available before. This includes dental workforce shortage areas where there are different models for delivering and financing dental care, both of which are influenced by social conditions and behavioral circumstances that affect patients.
With the new and larger mobile dental care clinic coming out this summer, thanks to the generosity of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, we will be caring for more children at their schools and at homeless shelters throughout Suffolk County.
Where do you see the school in five years?
I would like our school to be the destination of choice for those wanting to help shape the dental profession so that it is better prepared to meet the ever-changing and challenging needs of our society. Because of the rich opportunities here at Stony Brook University, with its world-class education, fertile research environment and well-respected academic healthcare system, we believe we can continue to attract the best and brightest students, residents, staff and faculty.
What are your priorities for the next year?
Our first priority is recruiting a mix of senior administrators and faculty leaders who can provide the support our programs need to meet the benchmarks set in our strategic plan. They will also be responsible for fostering connections with their university and academic healthcare system counterparts to ensure that all of us can benefit from each others’ expertise and partner where collaborative opportunities present.
We will also be focused on hiring key staff and faculty, beginning with a chair for our Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, a position that is our lead connection with Stony Brook Medicine. Additionally, we look to bring on several discipline-specific faculty who will contribute to our didactic and clinical student learning. To help us reestablish the school as a nationally ranked research institution, we will begin our search for funded dental researchers who also have experience and interest in classroom instruction. Because so many patients cite “pain” as the reason for their visits to the dentist, our highest priority is the recruitment of a pain researcher who can collaborate with others on campus in exploring pain transmission and in the development of new approaches in pain management.