Richard M. Lichtenthal, DDS
- James Winston Benfield Associate Professor of Operative Dentistry at CUMC
Richard Lichtenthal is the James Winston Benfield Associate Professor of Operative Dentistry at CUMC. He served as the Director of the Division of Operative Dentistry from 1990 to 2016 and as Chair of the Section of Adult Restorative Dentistry, now the Section of Cariology and Restorative Sciences, from 1992 to 2016. Dr. Lichtenthal has been an associate attending dentist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital since 1987.
Dr. Lichtenthal received his B.S. degree in Natural Sciences from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1958 and his D.D.S. degree from the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery in New York City in 1962, receiving the Van Woert Scholarship Fund Prize.
After graduation from Columbia, Dr. Lichtenthal served in the United States Army as a Captain in the Dental Corps stationed at Ireland Army Hospital, Fort Knox, Kentucky, from 1962 to1965. He was in full time private general practice from 1965 to 1990. During that time Dr. Lichtenthal served as President of the Dental Alumni Association for four year. Beginning in 1976, he began serving as a volunteer clinical instructor at Columbia University, in the Division of Operative Dentistry, one day per week. That service gradually increased from part time to full time, when he became the Director of the Division of Operative Dentistry in 1990.
Shortly after becoming the Division Director, he lead the transition from discipline based patient care to comprehensive clinical care as a standard in the Columbia Dental Curriculum. This principle was shortly thereafter adopted by many of the Dental schools across the country. He spearheaded many other major initiatives including the 2009 reorganization of the clinical and preclinical curricula from 24 to 18 months and the redesign of the fourth semester to incorporate comprehensive clinical cases with simulated patient care exercises and introduction to the electronic health record and digital capture and milling of restorations.
He assisted in the introduction of CAMBRA into the Dental Curriculum and in its inclusion into the comprehensive clinical care examination in the EHR.
After stepping down as the Director of the Division of Operative Dentistry and Chair of the Section of Cariology and Restorative Sciences 2016, Dr. Lichtenthal will continue in his role as CDCA (NERB) educator for Columbia in the scheduling, orientation and preparation of the fourth year students for their licensure examinations. He will continue in his role as Chair of the Northeast Region of the Council of Operative Dentistry Educators (CODE).
In addition, Dr. Lichtenthal will continue his activity in lecturing and supervision in the preclinical laboratory curriculum., teaching and supervision in the third and fourth year comprehensive care clinical programs.and involvement is special projects.
Credentials & Experience
Education & Training
- DDS, Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery