Gratitude for our community | A message from the Dean

Dean Keith Mays in lobby of School of Dentistry office.

As the year comes to a close, it is always important to reflect on achievements and what the future holds. I will start by stating that I am proud of the students, residents, staff and faculty that comprise the School of Dentistry. It is because you work at the School of Dentistry, and contribute to our collective goals, each in your individual ways. We continue to have excellent students and residents choosing our school as the place for their education each year. That education resulted in our clinics providing approximately 90,000 patient visits this year. However, without our staff and faculty, we would not be prepared to treat our patients. I am so proud of the great work that you have accomplished 2023. I hope that each of you will be refreshed and recharged in the coming weeks to continue to care for our patients.

We are an important health care clinic for the state. Approximately 45% of the patients who receive care at our clinics have no insurance, low insurance or public insurance. This means that the role we play in the health system is vital and important, as some of our patients do not have access to care elsewhere. This treatment helps our students and residents gain essential clinical experiences, and we are entrusted with the awesome responsibility to care for our patients and improve their oral and overall health. We exist to make peoples’ lives better through better oral health. We do that as a team: staff, students, residents and faculty. I am thankful that you all continue to strive to make our school, clinics and learners successful. 

As we return in 2024, we will continue to develop the optimal environment for excellent patient care and student learning. We will strive to bridge the gap between research and clinical care, utilizing new discoveries to improve oral health. We will support the research and discovery that help us translate science to the chairside. In 2024, I challenge us to work collaboratively to educate, to learn, to provide care, to develop new discoveries-continuing to
be an awesome school.

Thank you for doing your part to make this school shine.