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College of Dental Medicine

The James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina embodies dental education excellence. Dedicated to shaping dentists with profound knowledge of dentistry and educating tomorrow's dentistry leaders, the institution ensures an environment of scholarly and self-critical learning. Boasting both full-time and part-time faculty members from diverse backgrounds and with extensive experience, teaching is of paramount importance at this institution. This commitment to education is further reflected in the emphasis on patient treatment, service to the public, and the consistent drive towards innovation in dental medicine. Each patient is viewed and treated holistically, ensuring their overall well-being.

Research plays an indispensable role in the College of Dental Medicine curriculum. It equips students with critical thinking skills, fostering curiosity and an undying thirst for knowledge - traits vital for becoming competent clinicians. The college offers various research opportunities, from literature research to intensive D.M.D./Ph.D. programs as part of the NIH-funded Dental Scientist Training Program. Approximately 295 students are currently undertaking the College of Dental Medicine's four-year program leading to a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree. The training doesn't merely focus on recognizing and assessing oral diseases; it delves deeper into understanding the broader systemic effects of oral conditions. It accentuates the importance of preventive measures in dentistry and fosters a sense of professionalism and ethical responsibility in budding dentists. The college's programs underscore the importance of continual learning, collaboration with medical peers, and adaptability, with activities centered on critical thinking through case studies and discussions.

Tracing back its roots, the need for a dentistry school in South Carolina was identified in 1952, leading to legislative actions in 1953 and 1964. This culminated in the inception of the College of Dental Medicine as part of the Medical College of South Carolina. By 1967, the institution welcomed its inaugural class of dental students, marking a significant milestone. Fast forward to December 1970, the new Basic Sciences/College of Dental Medicine Building was inaugurated, followed by the graduation of its first class in 1971. The college was renamed in 2009 to the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine in honor of Dr. Edwards, oral surgeon, former governor of South Carolina, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, and former president of the Medical University of South Carolina for his commendable contributions to dentistry and the state.


The College of Dental Medicine is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association (ADA).