Dr. André V. Ritter Named Chair, Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care
Dr. André V. Ritter, a distinguished dental educator, clinician, researcher, and executive administrator, has been named chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at the New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry), effective November 1, 2019. The Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care is the largest department at the College and is responsible for a major portion of the pre-clinical and clinical curriculum in the dental education program.
Dr. Ritter is currently the executive dean and COO at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Adams School of Dentistry and holds the Thomas P. Hinman Distinguished Professorship in Restorative Dentistry, which recognizes outstanding achievement as a clinician and educator.
"My teaching philosophy is based on four fundamental tenets," says Dr. Ritter. "They are to motivate interest in the topic or discipline studied; highlight the relevance of the topic or discipline for the professional life for which the student is preparing; emphasize the importance of making evidence-based decisions and answering questions and solving problems with evidence-based resources; and suggest potential areas for further research that could contribute to the evidence-base of the topic or discipline. This approach applies regardless of whether I'm teaching DDS or Advanced Education students in MS or PhD programs, or professionals in continuing education programs. When interacting with and mentoring students in the classroom, clinic, or on international outreaches and exchange programs, I emphasize the need for critical thinking as opposed to the memorization of rules, protocols, and procedures."
This philosophy is at the core of Dr. Ritter’s staunch support for the importance of evidence-based dentistry in clinical practice. He served as the lead author of a systematic review of root caries risk predictors and caries management based on risk assessment, "Root caries risk indicators: A systematic review of risk models," published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, which has been cited in 87 other published articles. In nearly 200 books, chapters and refereed journal articles, he has published extensively on this and a wide range of other clinical research topics. Dr. Ritter has been an investigator on studies that have attracted more than $2 million in research funding, including grants from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) for adult caries prevention research.
He is also a prolific manuscript reviewer for over 20 peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, Acta Biomaterialia, and the Journal of Investigative Clinical Dentistry, and an editorial/scientific board member and manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Dental Science, Journal of Applied Oral Science, Operative Dentistry, Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry, The American Journal of Esthetic Dentistry, and Dental Traumatology.
Born and raised in southern Brazil, Dr. Ritter attended dental school in Florianópolis in the state of Santa Catarina. There, he practiced and taught part-time for 10 years, before moving to Chapel Hill in 1997 to enroll in the UNC School of Dentistry’s Operative Dentistry Graduate Program. He completed the graduate program, earning an MS degree in operative dentistry in 2000, and joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Operative Dentistry. During his time at UNC, he rose to the rank of full professor and also served as program director of the Operative Dentistry Graduate Program. From 2014 to 2017, he served as chair of the UNC Department of Operative Dentistry and has been executive dean and COO since 2018. In 2013, he earned an MBA degree from Northeastern University.
"Dr. Ritter's demonstrated leadership, teaching excellence, research, mentorship, and global perspective -- which is certain to further enhance our own robust global outreach program -- well qualify him to build on the excellence of our Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care," said Dr. Charles N. Bertolami, Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU Dentistry. "I am confident that he is exactly the right person to lead this department as it seeks to advance research, treatment, and prevention of dental caries and to restore the oral health and improve the overall health of people in the U.S. and globally."