Company Donates 10 Digital Dental Systems for Student Training
From now on, students at the University Maryland Dental School will be spending their time working in the future, thanks to a $339,000 gift of high-tech computer-assisted technologies from Sirona Dental Systems LLC, of Charlotte, N.C.
Sirona, a leading dental technology company, has donated 10 dental imaging systems and 10 digital milling machines called CEREC CAD/CAM.
CAD/CAM stands for computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. CEREC, or Ceramic Reconstruction, is software for the system that helps dentists to manufacture crowns, inlays, onlays, and veneers, with choices of different dental materials.
"We want to bring CEREC [CAD/CAM] education to the leading universities so the next generation can get exposed to the future of restorative dentistry," said Michael Augins, president of Sirona. "The University Of Maryland is at the top of the list among all universities that educate future dentists."
The Dental School is a widely recognized leader in teaching the use of computer-aided technologies which aid in the design, analysis, and manufacture of dental restorations. The dental CAD/CAM system designs, analyzes, and mills tooth crowns and partial crowns in one patient visit in less than an hour's appointment.
"We appreciate Sirona's strong commitment to improving dental education and patient care," said Marcelena Holmes, MPA, MA, assistant dean for development and alumni relations. "Dean Christian Stohler is passionate about exposing our students to the latest technology, and the Sirona system allows us to provide our students with the latest in CAD/CAM technology."
The dental CAD/CAM system designs, analyzes, and mills tooth crowns and partial crowns in one patient visit in less than an hour's appointment. Approximately eight percent of U.S. dentists currently own such systems. Both the dental practice and patients stand to gain by the elimination of multiple appointments that are traditionally necessary to fabricate a new crown or inlay.
"In future dental schools and dental offices, 'virtually' everything is going to be done digitally. Many of our dental restorations are "going to be designed on a computer," Gary Hack, DDS, associate professor at the dental school, said recently to his students.
Advantages of the CAD/CAM technology include eliminating the need for gooey impression molds and temporary crowns. Instead of the patient being asked to open for several minutes while gooey material in a mold hardens into the impression. The computer automatically displays the teeth in 3D and designs the crown. Specifications of the crown, such as thickness, height, width, and shape, can be adjusted in the computer by the dentists as desired. Then, with one more click of the mouse, the system makes the crown in the milling machine.
Hack said that newly acquired technology will advance the School's educational program in the teaching of digital dentistry in its high-tech "Dream Room."
The Dental School is one of six professional schools at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.