Temple Univ. dental school celebrates 150th anniversary

The Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry in Philadelphia is celebrating its 150th anniversary. It is the second oldest dental school in continuous operation in the U.S., according to the university.

To mark the milestone, the dental school provided a free full-service dental clinic. Staffed and managed by faculty members and student dentists, patients received extractions, restorations, and cleanings. In the past year, the school has provided more than $1 million in charitable dental care.

"Both our nation and the field of dentistry have seen remarkable advances in the past 150 years," said Amid Ismail, BDS, MPH, PhD, dean of the dental school. He noted that when the school first opened in 1863, Abraham Lincoln was president and dental anesthesia was nonexistent. Today, dental innovations, many of which were made at Temple, have enabled patients to undergo necessary procedures virtually pain-free.

With support from UnitedHealthcare and United Health Foundation, the dental school recently launched Project Engage, a $1.75 million initiative designed to improve children's access to oral healthcare. The program is available to North Philadelphia children younger than age 6 and their families who are enrolled in the state's Medicaid plan. The goal is to eventually expand the initiative to other parts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the U.S.

Over the past five years, the school has invested more than $27 million toward expansion and renovations, which will provide affordable care to approximately 30,000 patients per year.

The dental school also houses the Temple Dental Museum, which highlights the rich history of dentistry. On display is a collection of dental antiquities, including a 19th century Victorian dental office outfitted with period objects and furniture, as well as photographs, posters, dental instruments and equipment, dental furniture, and personal oral healthcare products.

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