Fernando Astorga, DDS, MS ’13, has been appointed an associate professor with the UNC Adams School of Dentistry’s Division of Comprehensive Oral Health.
“With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Astorga brings a wealth of expertise in preventive and restorative dentistry. His passion for teaching technologies and digital dentistry will greatly benefit our students,” said Division of Comprehensive Oral Health chair, Cristiano Susin, DDS, MSD, PhD. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Astorga back to Carolina and to the Adams School of Dentistry.”
As a general dentist, Astorga’s duties and responsibilities will include teaching, covering predoctoral clinics and seeing Carolina Dentistry patients. As a preceptor in the student clinics, he will work with predoctoral students to refine their diagnostic, critical thinking and technical skills to ensure they are prepared for private practice.
“It is an honor to be part of such a prestigious institution like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this is literally a dream came true,” said Astorga. “I like to motivate my students to think outside the box, to be curious, compassionate and push themselves to become the best dentist they can be.”
“I practice and teach evidence-based dentistry and help my students to make the best clinical decisions supported by evidence. I can summarize my teaching philosophy with this quote from Albert Einstein, ‘Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think.'”
Astorga earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela, where he also completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry program. He completed a preceptorship in dental implants from the University of Texas at Houston and returned to Venezuela. There he held a private practice for nearly ten years and served as a part-time faculty member at the Universidad Santa Maria.
In 2013, he moved to North Carolina where he received his master’s degree and certificate in operative dentistry from the Adams School of Dentistry. After completing his graduate studies, Astorga joined the faculty as an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine.
As an associate professor, he served as the course director for Occlusion 1, Treatment Planning, Critical Thinking and Treatment Planning and Case Presentation. Astorga created four different courses and was the co-chair of the iPad for Dental Education Committee which helps introduce new technologies in lecturing, as well as clinical and pre-clinical courses. He also served as the director of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Dental Education. He has lectured extensively both locally, nationally, and internationally at continuing education events.