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In Memoriam: Henry A. Gremillion, DDS, MAGD, Dean of LSU School of Dentistry

It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Henry A. Gremillion, DDS, MAGD, Dean of LSU  School of Dentistry. The first alumnus to hold the positon, Dr. Gremillion was a dedicated educator and visionary who gave his full support to the LSU Health Foundation with an eye to consistent advances for the School of Dentistry. He published over 100 articles, abstracts, book chapters, and posters in the area of orofacial pain, held numerous educational positions nationwide, received dozens of honors and awards and lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad in the areas of diagnosis and management of temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain, occlusion, and anatomy and function of the stomatognathic system.

A native of Cottonport, Louisiana, Dr. Gremillion received his dental degree from LSU School of Dentistry in 1977 and completed a Fellowship in Craniomandibular Dysfunction in 1991 at the University of Florida. Upon joining LSUSD in 2008 as Dean, Dr. Gremillion immediately began work to build a foundation for orofacial pain education, recruiting four nationally recognized faculty members in the field and integrating orofacial pain education into the curriculum for pre- and post-doctoral students. Dr. Gremillion also worked with his faculty to develop a comprehensive 74-hour orofacial pain continuing education program attracting dentists and specialists from around the world.

Dr. Gremillion oversaw multiple renovations at the LSU School of Dentistry’s main campus in New Orleans. Under Dr. Gremillion, the School of Dentistry erected its first new permanent building on the Dental School campus since the original construction. The $31 million, 64,899 square foot structure, now named the Allen A. Copping, DDS Advanced Clinical Care and Research Building, opened in 2018.

Thanks to Dr. Gremillion’s leadership guiding the extensive renovation, students now hone their skills in some of the most advanced preclinical labs in the country. The renovation of two main teaching auditoriums, the student wet labs and the distance-learning classroom have also been completed. The expansion of the student advanced practice clinic made the accommodation of a lab possible. A new clinic equipped to streamline and improve the patient-screening process was also established. The common areas, which include the cafeteria and campus grounds, have undergone a total transformation. A new patient parking lot and additional parking for students and faculty contributed to a better quality of campus life.

“He was not only extremely kind, but he was a true visionary who was not afraid to explore new concepts with the LSU Health Foundation. He had an inspired and inventive approach in renovating the School of Dentistry campus.  He was a great supporter of the Foundation, of his students, his faculty and staff and the entire community,” said LSU Health Foundation President and CEO Mattew Altier. “He had a passion for improving the School of Dentistry.  It is a shock to the system to lose such a wonderful person.”

Dr. Gremillion’s many honors include the recipient of the LSUSD Alumnus of Year in 2001, the school’s highest alumnus award, and the UFCD Teacher of the Year in 2002 and 2007. The Florida Dental Association honored him as the Florida Dental Educator of the Year in 2002 and 2006. He received the Louisiana Academy of General Dentistry Career Service Award in 2003. He was a member of the American Dental Association, Louisiana Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honorary Dental Fraternity, American Academy of Orofacial Pain, American Pain Society, International Association for the Study of Pain, American Equilibration Society, American Association for Dental Research and International Association for Dental Research. In 2020, he was chair of the American Dental Education Association Board of Directors and a member of the Facial Pain Association/Trigeminal Neuralgia Association Board of Directors.

The family of Dr. Henry Gremillion is planning a private church service in the near future in light of COVID-19. A memorial service for family and friends will be held in the future, but a date is yet to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you contribute to the LSU Health School of Dentistry in Dr. Gremillion’s memory to benefit Orofacial Pain. Please click on the following like to make a contribution or to leave a note for the family: