Missouri Dental School Gets Full CODA Accreditation

Dentistry Today


Missouri faces significant disparities in oral healthcare in both its urban and rural areas. To address these needs, A.T. Still University (ATSU) established the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (MOSDOH) in 2013 with a unique model of clinical and community education. Now, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) has granted full accreditation to the school.   

“Receiving full accreditation is a tribute to our ATSU-MOSDOH leadership team, faculty, staff, our communities, and students,” said ATSU president Craig M. Phelps, DO. “To everyone from Kirksville to St. Louis and each of our community health center partners throughout Missouri and the region, thank you for believing in this innovative, community health-based dental education model, which is positively affecting the lives of so many.”

CODA conducted its site visit in April at the school’s Missouri campus, at the St. Louis Dental Education and Oral Health Center (St. Louis Dental Center), and at the facilities of several of the school’s community health partners where students complete their educational experiences and curriculum. The school’s inaugural class graduated in June.

“By achieving full accreditation status, ATSU-MOSDOH has succeeded in its promise to graduate its first class of 42 competent, talented professionals who will become leaders in their communities,” said ATSU-MOSDOH dean Dwight E. McLeod, DDS, MS.

Students spend their first and second year studying basic sciences and principles of patient care in the classroom and complete dental simulation exercises at the Kirksville campus. During the third and fourth years, they transition to a clinical environment by providing faculty-supervised patient care at the St. Louis Dental Center and other safety-net clinics in the Midwest.

Operated in partnership with Affinia Healthcare, the St. Louis Dental Center provides the setting for ATSU-MOSDOH’s core dental curriculum. This partnership provides access to oral healthcare for St. Louis and Missouri residents while allowing the school to focus on the educational elements of comprehensive patient care and Affinia to manage the clinical operations.  

“All of us at Affinia Healthcare are extremely proud of ATSU-MOSDOH for such an impressive achievement,” said Alan O. Freeman, MBA, president and CEO of Affinia Healthcare. “This critical milestone serves to strengthen the valued affiliation between ATSU and Affinia Healthcare as we work together to address the workforce shortage in oral health services and increase care provided to an underserved population.”

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