USC University of Southern California

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

Faculty Spotlight—Pascal Magne

Pascal Magne_Inside


Associate Professor Dr. Pascal Magne teaches the groundbreaking Dental Morphology, Function and Esthetics course where dental students focus on restoring natural smiles with equal parts art and science.


Meet Pascal Magne DMD, Ph.D., Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation Professor of Esthetic Dentistry at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, who serves as director for Ostrow’s Dental Morphology, Function, and Esthetics courses.

Born in Switzerland, Magne grew up appreciating the intricacies of the art nouveau city of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

“If I didn’t become a dentist, perhaps I would have studied architecture,” he muses.

His decision to pursue dentistry has proven to be a good one—both for the Ostrow School of Dentistry as well as him.

Magne is a pioneer in his approach to restorative dentistry and is world-renowned for his clinical, research and authorship in esthetic and adhesive dentistry. He is considered to be the father or biomimetic dentistry.

A book he co-authored with Dr. Urs C. Belser, Bonded Porcelain Restorations in the Anterior Dentition—A Biomimetic Approach, has been translated into 12 languages and is considered one of the most influential in the field.

Prior to joining USC in 2004, Magne was a senior lecturer in the division of fixed prosthodontics at the University of Geneva Dental School-Switzerland. He received his DMD degree in 1989 and his Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of Geneva Dental School.

“I originally wanted to study medicine but changed my mind when I saw my brother, Michel, doing amazing things with porcelain,” Magne says.

Today, Magne uses a unique mix of dentistry and technology to restore “nature.”

“Esthetics is not the driving force,” Magne explains. “The driving force is to mimic nature, not just the esthetics of nature, but to respect the biology, to emulate function and mechanics. Esthetics is a logical outcome.”

His research is focused on new materials used in CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and manufacturing) technology—the Ostrow School currently has more than 30 CAD/CAM machines—and their application in adhesive/biomimetic dentistry.

In his role as associate professor and course director, Magne works personally with each student as they pursue their education in dentistry at the Ostrow School.

“It is fantastic when my students are able to reproduce what we have taught them. The ‘Little Pascal’ inside me jumps with joy when my students get excited about their achievements as a result of our teaching.”

He says his teaching philosophy is to be candid and forthright with students.

“Teaching must not only be based on science but also on common sense and experience. A teacher must not hide anything—especially failures. That is what empowers the students most.”

Magne also strongly believes that successful student should strive to choose one or more mentors.

“I encourage students to try to find a dental mentor. I know it is not easy to find, but it is worth the search!”