1949-1968 » Laying the Groundwork
In 1957, the Florida Legislature designates the University of Florida as the site for a college of dentistry. The journey to secure funding, appoint faculty to establish the college and design and build a permanent expansion in the Health Science Center to house it takes almost two decades.
1969-1975 » The College of Dentistry Gets a Home
The first class of 24 dental students enters the University of Florida in 1972. The college administers education programs in several temporary spaces, and begins to provide dental care to patients. In 1975, the College of Dentistry moves into its new home in the eleven-story Dental Sciences Building.
1976-1990 » Expanding in Gainesville and Beyond
The college graduates its first class in 1976. The next year, it establishes advanced education programs in orthodontics, oral pathology, general practice and periodontics. Continuing education programs begin in 1981, and educational offerings soon expand to include pediatric dentistry and oral biology. Several clinical research centers begin treating patients, and the college founds an outreach clinic in Mayo, Fla. In 1986, the first College of Dentistry satellite clinic opens in Jacksonville.
1991-2004 » Leading in Research, Education & Patient Care
The college opens satellite clinics in St. Petersburg, Hialeah and on the east side of Gainesville to serve more Floridians, and receives recognition for its dental service. Several research centers are established, using federal and state grants as well as gifts from alumni and friends. Clinical education programs begin to incorporate rotations at community-based dental clinics. The “Sim Lab” opens, allowing first- and second-year dental students to realistically simulate dental care before entering the clinic.
2005-Present » Envisioning the Future
New clinics open in Naples and St. Petersburg (Seminole), greatly increasing the number of patients that can be treated. The college continues to keep abreast of technological advances, implementing digital radiography, adopting a new clinic management system, and acquiring a cone beam CT scanner. Administrative changes streamline both patient care and education, and the college begins the process of updating its three-decade-old home.