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John A. Valenza, DDS

John A. Valenza, D.D.S.

Dean, UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry


John A. Valenza, DDS, serves as dean of UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry. Appointed to this position in June 2011 after serving as interim dean for two years, Valenza led the design, planning, and construction of a new, 314,000-square-foot building and conference center to replace UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry’s 1955 facility.

Valenza has been on faculty with the School of Dentistry since 1987. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate students and conducts clinical research, primarily in dental informatics and clinical care. His research interests include clinical simulation, dental informatics, medically compromised patients, and the use of technology in patient care. He has authored or co-authored numerous papers, chapters, and reports, and received grants totaling more than $1.5 million.

During his tenure at the school, he initiated and served as program director of the award-winning General Practice Residency program with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. He also managed departments and programs responsible for technology innovations, informatics, advanced education, and general educational support.

Valenza has also served as associate dean for patient care and executive associate dean. He has overseen innovations in patient care including the launch of UT Dentists, UTHealth Houston’s faculty group practice; conversion to the school’s first electronic health record and digital radiography; and expansion of community outreach programs and clinics, including a mobile dental van.

He holds The William N. Finnegan III Distinguished Professorship in the Dental Sciences at UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry.

In 2007, Valenza was inducted into The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine, MD, Academy of Health Science Education, and in 2012, the UTSD Alumni Association named him “Outstanding Alumnus.” He received the Greater Houston Dental Society President’s Award in 2004 and 2012-14. In 2019, the Texas Academy of General Dentistry named Valenza the Texas Dentist of the Year™.

Valenza is a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American College of Dentists, and the International College of Dentists, and he is a member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, Greater Houston Dental Society, American Dental Education Association, and the American Association of Hospital Dentists.

He is a Houston native who attended The University of Texas at Austin before enrolling at UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry, where he graduated with a DDS in 1981. He completed a general practice residency at the University of Tennessee Memorial Hospital and practiced full time in the Nashville area while also serving part time on the faculty of Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry before returning to UTHealth Houston.

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