[February 12, 2024, PHILADELPHIA] – The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) Board of Advisors, administrators, clinicians, and donors gathered on Wednesday, February 7th, to officially commence the construction of The Richard Lichter Advanced Dentistry and Oral Surgery Suite at Ryan Hospital, a state-of-the-art clinic for comprehensive oral and restorative small animal patient care, clinical instruction, and clinical research.
“The new suite’s impact will deliver care to more patients and significantly shorten appointment wait times with the increase in the number of dentistry and oral surgery stations,” said Alexander Reiter, professor of Dentistry and Oral Surgery and chief of the Dentistry and Oral Surgery (DOS) Service. “The addition of the cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) system will greatly enhance our clinicians’ diagnostic imaging ability to plan for complex surgeries, like cleft palate repair, oral tumor removal, and maxillofacial trauma surgery, and because of its immediate proximity to nine other surgery suites, this advanced imaging modality will provide more efficient care for other surgical patients, such as in neurology and orthopedics.”
Penn Vet was the first veterinary school in North America to offer an organized program in veterinary dentistry and oral surgery in the 1970s; and in 1989, established one of the first veterinary dentistry and oral surgery residency training programs in the country.
“As experts in dentistry and complex oral surgery, Penn Vet’s DOS Service is sought by clients from across the nation and attracts the finest residents from around the world,” said Brady Beale, hospital director and chief medical officer of Ryan Hospital. “The service has expanded significantly over the past 35 years, and this renovation will now allow us to accommodate our future growth in surgical capacity.”
Penn Vet’s clinical specialists have an extensive history of diagnosing and treating life-threatening medical conditions. Not only will the new dentistry and oral surgery suite deliver care to more patients, but it will also serve as the arena to further clinicians’ understanding of various oral diseases and conditions, including cancers in the head and neck.
“Contributing to Penn Vet is important since I have witnessed first-hand the role their veterinarians play in saving the lives of animals who come to Ryan Hospital in dire circumstances,” said Richard Lichter. “It was natural for me to want the hospital to have the most modern and state-of-the-art dentistry and oral surgery capabilities. Through my charitable foundation, the Richard Lichter Charity for Dogs, I have had the opportunity to provide care for dogs in their time of maximum need, and Penn Vet has been a trusted partner in that endeavor.”
“Our DOS Service represents the epitome of achievement and impact within veterinary oral health. Or, if I may be so bold as to say, the service possesses a ‘greatness;’ a profound influence on the next generation of dentistry and oral surgery specialists,” said Andrew Hoffman, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “Penn Vet’s DOS Service advances wider collective impacts, such as improved patient outcomes, and the public’s appreciation for specialized dental and oral care. It is through the benevolent generosity of Richard Lichter, and our other naming donors Nadine Chien and her late husband Frederick Batzold, and Anson Tsugawa, V’98, that we can build a facility that will leave an enduring mark on the field of veterinary oral medicine.”