Touro opens New York’s first new dental school in 50 years

By Aleesia Forni

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Touro College University System unveiled its College of Dental Medicine at New York Medical College in Hawthorne in September, the state’s first new dental school in nearly half a century.

The 100,000-square-foot school boasts a 112-seat simulation lab complete with mannequin patients, a 132-chair community clinic, pediatric dentistry and oral surgery clinics, two 120-seat auditoriums, a library, an exercise facility and a 2,000-square-foot student lounge. 

The school at 19 Skyline Drive sits adjacent to New York Medical College’s Grasslands campus in Valhalla and takes up residence in what was a 249,000-square-foot former IBM office building in Mack-Cali Realty Corp.’s Mid-Westchester Executive Park. The vacant five-story building was purchased by New York Medical College for $17.5 million in 2013. Touro College, the New York City-based nonprofit Jewish institution that acquired New York Medical College in 2011, received roughly $3.7 million in state funding through educational capital and local assistance grants earlier this year.

Having welcomed its inaugural class of 111 students in July, Touro College of Dental Medicine became the first dental school approved by the state Board of Regents since Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine opened in 1968. The school marks the 66th collegiate program in the country and only the fifth in the state. Others include University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and New York University College of Dentistry.

New York’s population has grown by 4.5 million people in the nearly 50 years since its last dental school opened, according to Touro officials, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projects the state to have a shortage of 1,024 dentists by 2025. Alan Kadish, president of Touro College and University System, said this new school aims to address that projected shortage. Kadish said the school “will fill a void in dental education and improve access to oral health care” particularly in the region’s underserved rural and urban communities.

When fully activated, the school will accommodate roughly 440 students. First- and second-year students will study core science education, while those in their third and fourth years of the program will focus on clinical study and begin working with human patients. The school will also offer postdoctoral training in several subspecialties.

Touro College estimates that its student- and faculty-run community dental clinic, which takes up roughly half of its facility, will accommodate more than 80,000 patient visits each year. Kadish said that while the clinic will be open to the public, it will focus on providing affordable treatment for patients in underserved communities, namely in the Hudson Valley and the Bronx. The clinic will also offer continuing education programs for practicing dentists.

“The Touro College of Dental Medicine is a great addition to Westchester’s list of medical education institutions.” Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino said. “Not only will this be extremely beneficial to the county and our dental professional community, but it continues to put Westchester on the map as a leading destination for the medical and biotech industry.”

Tuition and fees at the new dental school total roughly $60,000 per year, according to Touro College of Dental Medicine’s website. Including room, board and other living expenses, yearly costs are expected to total roughly $94,000.

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About the author

Aleesia Forni
Aleesia Forni covers transportation, tourism, nonprofits and residential real estate for the Westchester County Business Journal. She previously worked as a financial reporter for the online newsletter Prospect News. She started with the Westchester County Business Journal in April 2016.

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