NYU College of Dentistry and Alumnus Michael Apa, DDS, Aim to Advance Esthetic Dentistry Education


Through a generous contribution from Dr Apa, NYU College of Dentistry will create a fellowship program teaching the latest advances in esthetic dentistry.

NYU College of Dentistry and Alumnus Michael Apa, DDS, Aim to Advance Esthetic Dentistry Education | Image © NYU College of Dentistry

From left to right: NYU Dentistry Executive Vice Dean Michael O'Connor, EdD, MPA, Michael Apa, DDS, NYU Dentistry Dean Charles Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc, and NYU Dentistry Assistant Dean Anabella Oquendo, DDS | Image © NYU College of Dentistry

Twenty years after earning his dental degree from NYU College of Dentistry, Michael Apa, DDS, is giving back to his alma mater in a transformative way with a goal of helping to shape the next generation of outstanding dentists.

Recognizing the evolving field of aesthetic dentistry and its growing importance, Dr Apa recently made a substantial contribution to NYU Dentistry, which will be used to significantly advance the institution's esthetic dentistry programs. In recognition of Dr Apa's professional achievements and dedication to the field, NYU Dentistry is renaming its esthetic dentistry program as the Apa Advanced Clinical Fellowship in Aesthetics.

This move not only honors Dr. Apa's contributions but also reflects his commitment to shaping the future of dentistry, according to a press release from NYU. Along with the renamed fellowship program, Dr Apa’s contribution will allow NYU Dentistry to create a state-of-the-art esthetic treatment and education facility that will be called the Apa Aesthetic Suite at NYU Dentistry. The new suite will be the first permanent home for the esthetic fellowship program at NYU.

“We are so grateful that Dr Apa has chosen to support NYU College of Dentistry, the institution that shaped him as a dentist and set him on his path to success,” Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc, the Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU Dentistry, says in the press release. “Dr Apa is recognized internationally as a leader and innovator in aesthetic dentistry, and we are eager to incorporate his experience and vision to further strengthen our programs.”

The new Apa Aesthetic Suite will be designed in collaboration with Dr Apa. It will be located on the first floor of NYU Dentistry, with renovations slated to begin this fall, and the suite is expected to open in the fall of 2024.

"As dentists, we work at the intersection of health and art. I look forward to helping to transform this space into a suite that reflects the design and energy of our craft and inspires both patients and clinicians," says Dr Apa.

To help guide the new direction for the fellowship program, Dr Apa will work closely with program director, Anabella Oquendo, DDS. Their collaboration will aim to enhance the training provided to the US and international dentists who participate in this renowned one-year program focused on the latest techniques in esthetic dentistry which has drawn practicing dentists from 47 countries.

"Channeling Dr Apa’s expertise and enthusiasm into our clinical fellowship program will bring new vitality to our training in esthetic dentistry, a field that goes beyond appearances, intertwining beauty, health, and function,” says Dr Oquendo, who also serves as assistant dean for international programs at NYU Dentistry. “As we enhance smiles, we elevate confidence and promote overall oral health, which contributes to improved well-being."

As his career and practice have grown and spread internationally, Dr Apa has maintained a solid connection to NYU Dentistry, serving as a lecturer and mentor to dental students. He fondly recalls his time as a student where he founded NYU Dentistry’s Aesthetics Society and was part of the College’s Aesthetics Honors Program. Through his gift to the school, Dr Apa hopes to help ensure that future generations of dentists will continue to follow his legacy and drive esthetic dentistry into the future.

"Having found a home at NYU during my time as a student, it is my hope that the next generation of dentists will share that experience, and they too will set out to have an impact on our profession and the world around them," he says.

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