As a new era in dental health emerges, the school’s largest gift establishes endowment for faculty recruitment, retention and curriculum development.

A University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry alumnus has donated $10 million to strengthen the school’s position as a global leader in oral health and oral health sciences.

The funds will be used to advance the development of a modern curriculum, recruit and retain world-class faculty members, offer professional development; and create a formal mentorship and coaching program for junior faculty, which will expose young educators to a wide variety of relevant skill sets and nurture each individual’s unique potential.

The anonymous contribution will establish an endowment, providing a steady and lasting source of income to sustain the long-term vision of the current and future deans of the school and the future of oral health.

“We are grateful to the alumnus for this significant contribution in furthering the school’s growth and development,” says Michael Reddy, DMD, DMSc, dean of UCSF School of Dentistry. “This gift will enable us to prepare the school for a new era in dental health and medicine and support our vision for many years to come.”

His goal is to educate dental students and residents in patient-centered delivery settings such as health clinics and hospitals, in which faculty members practice in teams with students, trainees and other health professionals. Closer integration with the UCSF schools of medicine, nursing and pharmacy through cross-disciplinary research centers also will strengthen and leverage discoveries and elevate the oral health sciences.

Reddy sees the role of dentists in health care changing as the symbiotic relationship between oral health and overall health is increasingly recognized. He notes that during the next 20 years, oral health is expected to become fully integrated into general health care, with the greatest growth in pediatrics, geriatrics and oncology. Moreover, patient care will emphasize prevention and oral self-care, rather than dental treatment and repair.

That shift is likely to drive significant changes in how and where dentistry is practiced, from the current private-practice structure to group practices, hospitals, and academic health centers, where dentists work as part of a team with physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other health care professionals.