Written by Dentistry Today Thursday, 28 April 2011 12:58
working with some of the most advanced technology in the industry, thanks to a new agreement
between the school and the 3M Digital Oral Care Department. 3M and its dental division, 3M
ESPE, provided the school with a number of the company's digital impression-taking systems
and related technologies to help prepare dental students for the increasing digitization of patient
care activities. The tools will be deployed in the predoctoral curriculum of the School of
Dentistry as it continues its commitment to preparing students for a successful future after
3M ESPE's digital impression-taking system, the Lava™ Chairside Oral Scanner C.O.S.,
makes up the foundation of a new digital workflow in restorative dentistry. 3M ESPE provided
the School of Dentistry with 14 of these units. The technology is so new that it is not yet used by
many dentists in practice, but it is projected to play an increasingly vital role in dental offices and
labs. Dentists who use the tools report increased efficiency, lower remake rates, and better
patient satisfaction, all of which can make a significant impact on the success of a dental
practice. By gaining experience operating the system prior to graduation, the University of
Michigan dental students will be prepared to implement digital technologies in practice and help
their offices run more efficiently.
The School of Dentistry's 439 students will be trained to use the equipment as part of
their preclinical and patient care experiences. The Lava C.O.S. system will be implemented in
the preclinical program for second year students as part of their all-ceramic dental restoration
curriculum. Students will use the digital impression-taking system during patient care as a part of
the third and fourth year clinical program.
"This agreement helps us add yet another dimension to the exceptional learning
experiences we provide students at Michigan," said Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, DDS, PhD,
clinical associate professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs at the University of
Michigan School of Dentistry. "These technologies will support students' learning and clinical
decision making, improve confidence in capturing impressions, and prepare them for
contemporary dental practice. By exposing all of our pre-doctoral students to these tools we can
ensure that all students will graduate with valuable, hands-on experience using some of the most
advanced technologies available to the profession."
The revolutionary technology of the Lava C.O.S. captures dental impressions with digital
precision, and allows dentists to view continuous 3D video images of the digital impression in
real time on a touch-screen monitor. The recent Lava C.O.S. 3.0 software upgrade gives the
system powerful new tools for easier scanning, a scan rewind option, and an occlusal reduction
tool. The Lava C.O.S. makes the impression taking procedure more comfortable for patients and
provides a unique, interactive experience.
In addition to the Lava C.O.S. units, 3M ESPE provided the School of Dentistry with the
Lava™ Scan ST, which can convert a traditional impression into a digital format, allowing the
lab to use accurate digital tools to design simple or complex restorations. Ten computers will be
provided that are equipped with software to mark the margins of a restoration and perform other
design functions to help create a precisely fitting restoration.
"We are pleased to help the School of Dentistry prepare its students for the new world of
digital impression taking," said Mark Farmer, general manager of the 3M Digital Oral Care
Department. "As digital tools continue to increase efficiency and improve patient comfort in
dental offices, these students will play a role in revolutionizing the profession."
3M ESPE has long been a pioneer in the field of digital dentistry, combining its expertise
in computer-aided design and manufacturing with digital materials‚ digital impressions‚ and
other related solutions. The agreement with the University of Michigan School of Dentistry
furthers the company's commitment to education as the dental industry continues to evolve.
To hear from the students at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, visit: