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Academic Health Center Oral History Project

About the School of Dentistry

Established in 1888, the University of Minnesota College of Dentistry was the eighth dentistry school associated with a University in the country. The School for Dental Hygienists was started in 1920 in response to a growing need for preventive dental care. In 1937 a graduate degree program was started. In the 1950s, continuing dental education became a greater focus for the school, offering over 300 courses to members of the dental community. In 1970, the College of Dentistry was officially included in the Health Sciences organization of the University and was eventually provided with teaching, laboratory and clinical space within other Health Sciences facilities. In 1983 a new Hospital Dentistry Clinic was constructed on campus.

Please click here for the School of Dentistry timeline.

Bakdash, Bashar

BBakdash Pic.jpg Dr. Bashar Bakdash arrived at the University of Minnesota in 1974 and held a dual appointment in the School of Dentistry and the School of Public Health. (His dual appointment ended with the closure of the public health program in the Dental School in 1992.) In 1988, Dr. Bakdash became director of the Division of Periodontology. At the time of his interview, Dr. Bakdash was serving as interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in addition to his position as professor and director of the Division of Periodontology.

Newell, Kathleen

KNewell.jpgKathleen Newell earned her graduate dental hygiene degree in 1968, her bachelor's in 1971, master's in education in 1976, and her doctorate in education in 1987, all from the University of Minnesota. Beginning as a teaching assistant in the Program of Dental Hygiene in the Dental School in 1969, Dr. Newell's growing academic achievements positioned her for promotion. She became director of the Division of Dental Hygiene in 1984. She retired in 2005 but continued to serve the Dental School and the Division of Dental Hygiene in smaller capacities, earning the Alumni Service Award from the University in 2013.

Pintado, Maria

MPintado Pic.jpg Maria Pintado pursued her dental education at the University of Minnesota. After completing her bachelor's degree in dental auxiliary education in 1972, Ms. Pintado taught in the dental auxiliary program while concurrently pursuing a master's degree in public health, which she completed in 1986. Upon the closure of the dental assisting program, the School retained Ms. Pintado. She continued to teach and began working with Dr. William Douglas on biomaterials research. She continues to work as an investigator in the Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics (MDRCBB).