August 29, 2013

University of New England dental school opens its doors

The College of Dental Medicine in Portland has 64 students in its inaugural class, and plans to treat thousands of patients each year.

By Noel K. Gallagher
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — The first college of dental medicine in northern New England opened Wednesday at the University of New England's Portland campus with an inaugural class of 64 students.

click image to enlarge

UNE's College of Dental Medicine is located off Stevens Avenue in Portland.

UNE photo

The class includes 24 students from Maine, five from New Hampshire and four from Vermont. The other students are from 16 other states and Canada.

The program is housed in the $14 million Oral Health Center, off Stevens Avenue.

Startup funds for the program included $3.5 million from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approved by voters as part of a $5 million bond to increase access to dental care in Maine, and $2.3 million from Northeast Delta Dental.

James Koelbl, dean of the UNE College of Dental Medicine, said fourth-year students will provide "extensive clinical experience" in community-based clinics across northern New England.

He said faculty members and students will treat as many as 15,000 patients a year at the Portland campus clinic, and as many as 25,000 patients in the community-based network.

"UNE is uniquely qualified to open the first college of dental medicine in the region," UNE President Danielle Ripich said in a prepared statement. "This graduate program in oral health joins medical, pharmacy, public health, dental hygiene and allied health programs."

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at: 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)