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Inspiring Excellence: The Impact of Black Dentists in Oral Health Care


Inspiring Excellence: The Impact of Black Dentists in Oral Health Care

Navigating the realm of dental care and oral health, demands an acknowledgment and celebration of the diverse voices and perspectives that enrich our field. Among these voices, Black dentists play a pivotal role in propelling access, equity and excellence forward. Here at the UIC College of Dentistry, we take immense pride in commemorating the accomplishments and contributions of our Black faculty, staff, students and alumni who serve as beacons of inspiration within the profession.

Over the past five years, our college has maintained an average Black or African American student population of approximately 12.6% within our Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program compared to the national average of 4%. This statistic not only highlights the diversity inherent in our student body but also highlights our unwavering commitment to nurturing a welcoming and supportive community for all.

Black dental students bring an array of unique perspectives, experiences and talents to our learning environment, enriching it immeasurably and elevating the quality of care we provide to our patients. Through our dedicated promotion of diversity and inclusion, we cultivate a culture of excellence where every individual can thrive and succeed.

Recent research from the American Dental Association (ADA) reveals that a mere 3.8% of dentists in the United States are Black. Despite this disparity, Black dentist are making significant strides in addressing access disparities and improving oral health outcomes within underserved communities. Through their unwavering dedication, cultural competence and commitment to patient-centered care, Black dentists are creating substantial change and transforming lives within the communities they serve. Serving not only as role models and mentors but also as inspirations to future generations of dental professionals, encouraging them to pursue their aspirations and effect positive change in the world. Through the sharing of their experiences, insights and expertise, they empower aspiring dentists to overcome obstacles and fulfill their goals.

Furthermore, the presence of Black dentists fosters trust, rapport and cultural competency within patient-provider relationships, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes and patient satisfaction. Through their advocacy and community engagement endeavors, Black dentists and dental students are driving systemic change and championing health equity for all.

As we pay tribute to Black History Month and celebrate the achievements of Black trailblazers within dentistry, let us amplify and acknowledge the voices of Black dentists who are shaping the future of oral healthcare. Together, we can forge a more inclusive, equitable and healthier world for generations to come.


American Dental Association. (2021). Diversity in Dentistry: Dental Students, 2020-21. Retrieved from:

University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry. (2024). Diversity and Inclusion. Retrieved from: