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About the College of Dentistry


The College of Dentistry was founded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1878. It is the oldest dental college in the South, and the third oldest public college of dentistry in the United States. The college was located in Nashville until 1911, when the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee moved it to Memphis, in order to secure larger facilities.

In that year, authorities of the University of Memphis transferred all of its equipment and the good will of its Dental Department to the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee. Through this union, the facilities and equipment of the two institutions were merged into one college.

In 1978, the College of Dentistry moved from Rogers Hall on the University of Tennessee campus on Monroe Avenue to its current location, the Dunn Building on Union Avenue. The Dunn Building was named after Governor Winfield C. Dunn. Gov. Dunn (1971-1975), who graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry with a D.D.S. degree in 1955. The Dunn Building contains 96,500 net square feet in five floors, providing 322 patient treatment chair units, administration and faculty offices, students’ lounge, dental maintenance shop, dental clinical support laboratories, conference rooms, student laboratories, central sterilizing area, and other essential housekeeping and support activities necessary for the normal activities of a dental education facility. The main clinical teaching area was renovated and refurbished with state-of-the-art dental chairs and units in 2009-2010. Additional rennovations to clinical and office spaces are ongoing in 2013.

The College of Dentistry is fortunate to have excellent facilities for classroom, laboratory, and clinical instruction. The Humphreys General Education Building, built in 1977 and shared with other colleges on campus, provides 146,250 square feet of space for lecture, laboratory and self-study. It houses the lecture rooms and laboratories for all preclinical courses, except the gross anatomy laboratory which is located in the Wittenborg Anatomy Building, which is immediately adjacent to the Humphreys Building.

The Humphrey's building contains dedicated and recently rennovated pre-clinical dental labs; thus the College of Dentistry provides students with a 21st Century dental education. The rennovated pre-clinical labs in the Humphreys GEB Building has 36 workstations housing Interactive Virtual Reality Simulators that provide students with immediate graphic evaluation of tooth preparation. Each workstation has its own monitor so that instructors can demonstrate techniques to the entire class. These educational improvements, which utilize the latest technology available, enables the College of Dentistry to provide the best possible educational opportunities to its present and future students. The Humphreys Building also houses a computer laboratory which is utilized by both faculty and students. The Winfield Dunn Dental Clinical Building was completed and occupied in September 1977.

Additionally, several courses in the College of Dentistry work with the Kaplan Clinical Skills Center (KCSC) on the UTHSC Campus. The Kaplan Clinical Skills Center utilizes simulation technology and employs simulated patients to assist students in practicing their clinical skills. College of Dentistry interact with simulated patients in the KCSC to practice scenarios with patients that they may encounter in actual practice. In this way, College of Dentistry students can attain competency in the communication skills that are critical to the successful practice of dentistry.

National Standing

The programs in dentistry are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on the Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education. This accreditation is the direct result of extensive periodic evaluation by the commission every seven years. Accreditation permits qualified graduates of the college to make application for all state and regional board examinations in the United States.

As an institution of higher education, the College of Dentistry is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as part of the regular accreditation process of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. In addition, the college is a member of the American Association of Dental Schools and the American Association of Dental Research.


The faculty is organized by departments to constitute functional units in the major disciplines of the dental curriculum. In addition to the full-time and part-time faculty members in the College of Dentistry, the teaching personnel includes faculty of the College of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Graduate Health Sciences. View the complete listing of faculty by department.

Alumni Affairs

The Dental Alumni Association is organized to promote the welfare of UTHSC, and the College of Dentistry and its graduates. The UTHSC College of Dentistry Alumni Association works in conjunction with the UTHSC Office of Alumni Affairs on a number of activities throughout the year. The Dental Alumni Association sponsors the MidSouth Dental Congress held each year in early spring. This meeting features nationally known speakers, presentation of the alumni award of "Outstanding Alumnus," and class reunions.

The Office of Alumni Affairs arranges receptions for alumni at various state, regional and national professional meetings.

Honor Code and Honor Council

The Honor Code of UTHSC is promulgated in order that student academic affairs will be conducted under the highest standards of individual responsibility, thereby promoting personal honor and integrity in the best traditions of the health science professions. Major responsibility for protection of the education process is assumed by UTHSC students, who are directly responsible for the effective operation of the Honor Code.

The Honor Code governs all students enrolled at UTHSC. Each college has established an Honor Council to function under the rules delineated in the Honor Code.

Alleged violations of the Honor Code are processed by the Honor Council of the college in which the alleged violation occurred. The Honor Council of the College of Dentistry is composed of four representatives from each class. Election of the representatives is in accordance with the bylaws of the Honor Code. More detailed information relative to the Honor Code can be found in the Student Handbook.


The Frank P. Bowyer Visiting Lectureship was established in 1980 through the generosity of Dr. Bowyer and his colleagues in the dental profession. Dr. Bowyer is an alumnus, past trustee of the university, and past president of the American Dental Association. This endowment makes possible as annual lecture by a prominent individual on the topic of organized dentistry, dental education, community dentistry, dental practice management, or other appropriate health care issues. The lectures are primarily for third and fourth year dental students, and add an important dimension to the educational environment of the College of Dentistry.

Hinman Student Research Symposium

The Hinman Student Research Symposium is held annually and features oral and poster presentations of research projects by dental students and postgraduate trainees from the University of Tennessee and from across the United States and Canada. The symposium is cosponsored by the College of Dentistry and the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Society. The objectives include the recognition of student achievements in dental research and the encouragement of careers in dental research and education.

May 26, 2022