The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics

Since 1882, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics has been a leader in patient care, dental education, and oral science research, and as the only dental school in the State of Iowa, we are a source of great strength and pride for the state.

Patient Care

As an essential part of the University of Iowa academic health campus, our dental clinics have more than 170,000 patients visits per year. The college also has 26 community programs focused on children, patients with special needs, and seniors, including an award-winning Geriatrics Mobile Dental Unit. Our dental clinics are an essential resource to the state helping people and communities meet their dental care needs. 

Hannah Klaassen with a patient
A dental student with a patient.

Dental Education

Dental students admitted to our highly competitive and comprehensive DDS program receive education in new knowledge, technical excellence, ethics, and practice management with a strong emphasis on critical thinking and problem-based learning. This educational curriculum has been instrumental in educating excellent dentists and specialists across Iowa and the world, as 78% of Iowa dentists are graduates of the college.

Our unique third-year curriculum consists of clerkships that offer experiences in a wide range of dental specialties, and after four years, dental students at Iowa have more clinical experience than do dental students at any other dental school in the country.

The college has as many recognized ADA dental specialties as any dental school in the country, each of which is incorporated into our dental curriculum and in advanced training programs. These specialties include:

  • Jennifer Sukalski discussing her research project with mentor Susan McKernan
    PhD Student in Oral Science with her mentor
    Dental public health
  • Endodontics
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiology
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • General practice residency (Oral medicine)
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics

In addition to these 10 ADA recognized specialties, the college also has innovative advanced training in two additional specialties:

  • Operative dentistry
  • Geriatric and special needs dentistry

Research

A $61 million renovation of the Dental Science Building—completed in 2016—modernized dental clinics and enhanced research facilities at the college. In 2017, the college also began sustained investments in research infrastructure to make full use of its facilities, including multiple grant support specialists, a director of science writing and editing, and the Division of Biostatistics

and Computational Biology. These renovations, and investments in infrastructure, along with a focus on recruiting, hiring, and supporting new researchers has resulted in a record number of external grant funds, largely from the National Institutes of Health, and a record number of grant applications. 

Researchers working in a lab
Jeff Banas and David Drake research lab

The college's Seed Grant program is one program designed to support innovative projects from early career investigators with the aim of encouraging research and generating data that will enable the awardees to be competitive for peer-reviewed grants from national funding agencies.

The college also has an award-winning Dental Student Research Program with approximately 25% of pre-doctoral students participating in the program.