Daemen University Announces Plans for New College of Dentistry

Apr 12, 2022

Daemen University Announces Plans for New College of Dentistry

Apr 12, 2022

The university has entered the advanced stages of seeking accreditation for what could become only the second WNY institution of higher learning offering a doctorate in dentistry

Daemen University is in the advanced stages of planning and seeking accreditation to open what will be known as the Shatkin College of Dentistry.  

Daemen hopes to open the new college in the fall of 2023, if accreditation is granted by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

The college’s namesake, Dr. Todd Shatkin, DDS, will provide facilities for the college in Amherst, as well as equipment and expertise in creating the new college of dentistry. Daemen would join the UB School of Dental Medicine as the only programs of their kind in the Buffalo-Niagara region, if approved.

“Western New York has a clear and ongoing need for more dental professionals,” said Dr. Gary Olson, president of Daemen University. “If accredited and approved, our college of dentistry will help address this shortage, provide additional access to health care, and improve the oral and overall health of citizens in the region.”

In late 2021, Daemen filed a comprehensive application for accreditation with the Chicago-based CODA, and recently applied for formal approval from NYSED. To support the state application, an external reviewer visited campus this winter.

“We are seeking to create a unique educational experience for students – and eventually become one of the top dental schools in the country,” said Shatkin, founder of the Aesthetic Associates Centre.

Daemen’s plans call for the dental college to offer a year-round academic program for three years – instead of the traditional four academic years common in most dental programs. Students will then complete their New York State-mandated residencies for licensure at dental facilities around the state.

“Students will be treated like colleagues from the first day forward,” said Shatkin. “Dental students trained in supportive and comfortable environments are going to know the value of creating positive experiences for their patients.”

At the proposed dental college, students would matriculate at both Daemen’s Amherst campus and at new facilities constructed near Shatkin’s existing suite of offices in Amherst. The town’s Planning Board is expected soon to consider plans for constructing buildings associated with the new dental college, which would be located near where the I-290 meets Main Street.

“The continued development and growth of Daemen University has far-reaching benefits, and this partnership with Dr. Shatkin is no exception,” said Brian Kulpa, supervisor of the Town of Amherst. “As outlined in the town’s Advance Amherst Recovery Plan, the ‘I-290 Medical Spine’ would be further strengthened by the proposed Shatkin College of Dentistry and bring much-needed medical services to the Northtowns. The town looks forward to working together to develop this new facility.”

The proposed dental college would add to Daemen’s suite of well-established health sciences programs, which include nursing, cytotechnology (with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center), pre-medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant (PA) studies, and many others.

“Adding a dental program to our university would increase access for students within and outside of the WNY community – while creating a greater opportunity for our region to obtain an essential health care service,” said Michael S. Brogan, provost of the university.

Clinical dentistry will also be available to the public at reduced rates at the proposed new dental college – but would not be available until the program’s second year, if approved.  

The new dental college would not be Shatkin’s first foray into higher education. The Shatkin Dental Health Advanced Education in Dentistry (AEGD) Program – offered through the New York University Langone Department of Medicine – provides advanced training at Shatkin’s Amherst facilities in many aspects of dentistry while providing affordable dental care.

The Shatkin family has a longstanding relationship with Daemen. In June 2021, the university announced plans to open the Todd & Leslie Shatkin Institute for Mobility Innovation & Technology (IMIT), an advanced rehab facility. Todd Shatkin’s mother, Joan Ellis Shatkin, served on the Board of Trustees, and his brother, Samuel Shatkin, Jr., MD, has been a PA instructor at the university.

While the university is announcing plans for the proposed dental college, students cannot be enrolled unless accreditation is granted by CODA and approval for the program is provided by the state.

The proposed dental college comes on the heels of Daemen achieving university status in March 2022, as the institution celebrates its 75th anniversary.