the opening of its new Center for Oral Health Care and Research, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San
Antonio School of Dentistry (UTHSCSA SOD) has a modern, technologically advanced
facility that will enable the school to bring improved multispecialty dental
care, education, training and research to South Texas.
at 8210 Floyd Curl Drive, the 198,000-square-foot, $96.5 million facility
features 400 dental chairs, along with radiology facilities, simulation labs
and research space. It was designed to enhance patient comfort and convenience
and reflect as closely as possible the clinical environments in which students
will ultimately practice.
to the Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC), the clinical home of the
university’s School of Medicine’s faculty practice, the location facilitates
interdisciplinary collaboration and allows patients to conveniently access a
full range of dental and medical care in one location. The facility was
designed by a joint venture with architecture firms Kahler Slater of Milwaukee,
WI, and Marmon Mok Architecture of San Antonio. Teams from the Houston and San
Antonio offices of Vaughn Construction provided general contracting services.
new building enables the school to provide multispecialty care in a modern
space that is designed to provide the best possible patient experience,” says
Larry Schnuck, AIA, Kahler Slater Vice President and leader of the firm’s
higher education specialty practice area. “That will help the school attract additional
patients, ensuring that it continues to obtain and conduct important clinical
research and helping it sustain its top-tier ranking in education, research and
first two floors are devoted to faculty practice in various specialties,
including endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontics, pediatric
dentistry, geriatric dentistry, orthodontics and prosthodontics. They also
house spaces for dental research and advanced education for residents. The
third and fourth floors are home to a 200-operatory general dentistry clinic
where third- and fourth-year dental and dental hygiene students will train.
Design, Latest Technology
features of the Center for Oral Health Care and Research include the following:
- Operatories are outfitted
with the latest technology, including digital lighting and examination
equipment, extra-large monitors to facilitate the viewing of dental images by
practitioners and patients, computers for use in accessing and maintaining
electronic oral health records, and an environmentally friendly automated
system that cleans water lines and treats waste water at the dental chair.
- For patients undergoing
more extensive procedures, the facility includes a dental surgery operating
room and overnight recovery area built to hospital specifications.
- The intuitive floor plan is
designed for easy navigating by patients. Related clinics and administrative
spaces are near each other. Waiting areas and other patient-related activities,
such as registration, are next to the clinics.
- Clean lines, ample natural
light via large windows and an open courtyard combine to create a welcoming and
- Small conference rooms
located near student and resident clinics enhance learning by facilitating
interaction among students and faculty.
- The instrument management
and sterilization systems comply with regulations established by the U.S.
Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Center for Oral Health Care and Research is connected by enclosed walkways to
the adjacent MARC. The site was chosen to facilitate collaboration among the
schools’ clinicians, educators and researchers and enable patients to receive
the full scope of dental and medical care in one place.
Center for Oral Health Care and Research was funded primarily by proceeds from
the Permanent University Fund, a public endowment supporting eligible
institutions of The University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University
System. The School of Dentistry and more than 215 individual donors also made
Published on October 14, 2015.