Our mission and vision
To train international leaders and highly specialized professionals of dentistry, dental care and oral health for the next generation, who have a research-oriented outlook and a scientific mind, by utilizing special programs.
Based on the philosophy of Interface Oral Health Science, we lead the world in dental research, education, clinical care, and social co-creation, thereby contributing to the well-being of people around the world.
—A Pathfinder of Dentistry, Dental Care, and Oral Health for the Next Generation
Dean, Tohoku University
Graduate School of Dentistry and School of Dentistry
The Graduate School of Dentistry’s mission is to train global leaders and highly specialized professionals in dentistry, dental care, and oral health for the next generation. With the advantages of Tohoku University — one of the world’s leading comprehensive universities —, we ensure the potential leaders a high standard of education and research systems in various fields. Besides, in the framework of our special programs such as the Interface Oral Health Science program, the Master’s course, and the Asia Double Degree Program, students develop a sense of a research-oriented outlook and a scientific mind.
First of all, let me briefly introduce the history of Tohoku University. It was originally founded in 1907 as the third Imperial University in Japan after Tokyo Imperial University and Kyoto Imperial University and is now a designated national university along with them. Blessed with many intellectual assets and excellent human resources, the university continues to produce world-class results and is, so to say, a game-changer of the world.
As a graduate school of Tohoku University, the Graduate School of Dentistry was established in 1972, seven years after the foundation of the School of Dentistry. Since then, we have focused on education and research based on Tohoku University’s philosophy of “Research first”, “Open doors” and “Practice-oriented research and education”.
Dental health plays a vital role in individuals' quality of life. How does dentistry helps your life? Have you ever thought about what a mouth is? The mouth has a variety of functions, including eating, staying alive, and speaking and facial expressions, to communicate. All these functions are essential to life, and at the same time, they are deeply related to our vitality, enjoyment, and fulfillment in human relationships. The mouth is a “gateway” connecting our outer and inner worlds. When we interact with the outside world, our mouth serves as an “interface.” Many oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontal disease, occur at the interface where the different systems coincide. Therefore, keeping the interface healthy can help us maintain and improve our oral health, as well as our overall health. In this era of 100 years of life, dentistry plays a crucial role in extending the period people enjoy a healthy and high-quality life, or “healthy life expectancy”.
In 2002, based on the terminology “Interface”, we presented the new concept of dentistry “Interface Oral Health Science (IOHS) ”, which encompasses the various functions and roles of the oral cavity. The IOHS concept views the oral cavity as consisting of three systems. The first consists of the tissues and organs that form the mouth, including the teeth, bone, and oral mucosa; the second of the vast microorganisms that live there; and the third of the biomaterials, which are essential and inevitable for dental treatment. Mechanical stresses, or complex forces such as occlusal force, are also applied alongside these three systems.
Since the proposal of the new concept “IOHS” and with the clear direction where dentistry research should proceed, advanced research rooted in the uniqueness and universality of dentistry has been promoted through several research/education projects adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). These projects, however, are not carried out by the Graduate School of Dentistry alone but are the fruit of university-wide wisdom, mainly thanks to the Institute for Materials Research; the Graduate School of Medical Engineering; the Graduate School of Engineering; and the Graduate School of Agricultural Science, as well as with other educational and research institutions in Japan and overseas. These initiatives have blazed the trail of “interdisciplinary fusion,” ranging from the biomaterials research since the establishment of IOHS to the latest “SHOKU-gaku research project – Transdisciplinary Science of Eating, Food, and Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing.” We have also established a Liaison Center for Innovative Dentistry that links these fields with other departments at the university, external research institutions, and local communities to realize cross-disciplinary research and interdisciplinary fusion. These are the strengths of Tohoku University, an institution with a long history and tradition and a track record of world-class results.
In 2004, we also established Japan’s first Double Degree course as well as a Master’s program in dentistry to expand the horizon of dental care and oral health. These establishments boost “Open doors” in dental science education and research. Students from various professions—ranging from medical and co-medical to engineering; nutrition science; health welfare; and medical administration—are studying at the Graduate School. To develop research/education in the Master’s course, we increased the quotas on students and strengthened ties with the Doctoral course in 2020.
The Graduate School of Dentistry has a high level of international competence, and as a base for dental education and research in Asia, our education and research are conducted with the world's leading dental schools. Approximately a quarter of graduate students are from outside Japan. It is common for us that students from various cultural backgrounds strive together toward the same goal to pursue dental science. Eventually, this environment nurtures leaders in the global society. On behalf of all faculty members of the Graduate School of Dentistry, we are proud to commit ourselves to educational research and are fully aware of our mission.