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Creighton University Breaks Ground on New School of Dentistry

$84.5 million project will expand outreach to underserved patients

New School of Dentitry - RDG Planning & DesignCreighton University broke ground Sept. 15 on a new 200,000-square-foot School of Dentistry to be located at 21st and Cuming streets. The $84.5-million project, is scheduled to be completed in July 2018. The new building will increase the number of patients served from 12,000 annually to 15,000. People who come from all walks of life in the Omaha area and many of whom would otherwise not have access to regular dental care, if not for Creighton's dental clinics.

According to Mark Latta, DMD, MS, dean of Creighton’s nationally recognized School of Dentistry, the new facility will accommodate a modest enrollment gain, offer more clinic space, and feature enhanced labs, classrooms, research space and offices. Most importantly, says Latta, it will expand Creighton’s outreach to underserved patients.

“For more than a century, the Creighton University School of Dentistry has served a vital role in the community by supporting the oral health care needs of the region’s citizens,” says Latta. “Our mission compels us to expand the dental school and continue to graduate the best-prepared, practice-ready general dentists who will continue to serve thousands of children and adults in need.”

In 2015, Creighton’s School of Dentistry served more than 12,000 patients, including children. The dental school is also the state’s largest provider of dental services to low-income populations. With that number increasing to 15,000 patients served annually, students and staff are projected to provide $91.4 million in discounted and unreimbursed dental services over the first 10 years of the new facility being open—up from their current offerings valued at $6.7 million a year. In addition, serving patients through community partners, the dental school’s discounted and unreimbursed services will grow to $21.6 million—an increase from today’s $1.3 million in services through the community partners.

“Service to patients across the spectrum coupled with a vision for innovation have long been at the heart of the curriculum in the Creighton School of Dentistry,” said Creighton University President the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ. “In this new facility, faculty and students together will be able to expand those parallel missions, finding the best ways to compassionately care for all patients and making the latest treatments available.”

The new facility will also house some of the latest technological enhancements in dentistry, allowing for high-level specialties to expand the range of care it provides to the community. The new Creighton University School of Dentistry will include:

  • Expanded pediatric services, providing a larger dental home to children who would not otherwise receive regular dental care
  • An Interdisciplinary Health Practitioner Office, uniting the School of Dentistry, School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions and College of Nursing, offering a wider range of services to patients
  • The Wilwerding-DiLorenzo Digital Technology Center, a computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD-CAM) center that will guide students through use of the latest dental technologies

The new facility is expected to deliver greater economic impact through 191 new jobs, amounting to $76 million in additional wages and salaries, and nearly $8 million in additional state and local taxes. With the new facility’s offerings, it is estimated that the Creighton School of Dentistry will create a $200 million economic impact over a 10-year period. “We are dedicated to educating the nation’s premier dentists and providing comprehensive, compassionate oral healthcare to all of our patients,” says Dr. Latta. “A larger, updated and technologically advanced facility will allow us to meet the growing demands of our dental program, our patient base and the national population. As we look toward our vibrant future, we will continue our commitment to an outstanding clinical education experience rooted in Jesuit principals that underscore our care of those in need.” The Creighton University School of Dentistry opened in 1905, and moved to the Creighton campus in 1921 when it outgrew its space in the Edward Creighton Institute. The Boyne School of Dental Science, the school of Dentistry’s current location, opened in 1973.

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