Transforming Oral Healthcare Since 1863

Imagine being a member of a dental school that was founded during the Civil War, when America was engulfed in a fight to ensure it as a place of equality for all humans, regardless of the color of their skin. A country where everyone had equal opportunity to develop and live, and where all were treated equally by all institutions. While we have made significant strides toward these goals, we unfortunately still have a long way to go.

Today, the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University is located in a dynamic urban community that is at the heart of dental and societal needs. We serve the underserved, care for those who have limited access and provide all dental care needs at one location. Our school is blessed with thousands of patients who continue to come in larger numbers, and students whose numbers are increasing.

Amid I. Ismail, dean of Kornberg School of Dentistry
Amid Ismail, dean and Laura H. Carnell professor at the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University.

At Kornberg, we are focused on service and education.

We are not a training clinic, but rather a healthcare clinic, serving people’s medical and dental needs. We are the only school that meets the medical needs of our community both in our dental care programs as well as at the on-site medical clinic, which is operated by a federally qualified health center.

Kornberg graduates have experienced many difficult national moments throughout our more than 150-year history. After the Civil War, our alumni experienced other wars, including the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Alumni have served in all of these wars. Some have laid down their lives for their country, while others have led as commanders and generals. We also endured the devastating Spanish Flu from 1918–1919, during which the school never ceased operations.

Our graduates are known for their clinical skills and professionalism.

What is unique about Kornberg is our commitment to clinical education. Our founders were dentists led by physician and dentist Dr. John H. McQuillen. Their vision is still alive today. The Philadelphia Dental College was founded to provide structured clinical education in real-life clinics. Regardless of challenges and obstacles we face, this is what we have maintained as the core competency of the school.

Today, while the core of operations remains patient care and education, we have a highly productive and focused research program that is creating new knowledge in fields as diverse as dentin/pulp regenerations, genetically engineered bacteriophage, managing patients with anxiety, the oral microbiome and smart biomaterials. We also continue to provide much needed community service in our neighborhood.

Innovations in academic education focused on experiential learning, online education and shared learning.

We are focused on scientific facts rather than conjecture. We are focused on learning the skills necessary to seek peer-reviewed evidence, critically appraise it, ask questions and identify the gaps in knowledge to make an informed decision. This approach is not unique to dentistry or science, and it is the most important tool for success in every aspect of your life.

At the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry, tomorrow is a dream that we always aspire to achieve. Today we face a reality in which we must harness our skills and knowledge, grit and courage, to face myriad challenges—and succeed. To join our team of students, staff and faculty, you need the compassion for care, inspiration to learn and the perpetual humility to modify yourself.

If there is one phrase that defines this period at Kornberg, it is: “We care.”

Best wishes,

Amid Ismail
Dean and Laura H. Carnell Professor
July 13, 2020