3M Digital Oral Care Provides Digital Impression Systems

ST. PAUL, Minn. – (April 27, 2011) – University of Michigan dental students will soon be 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 graduation.

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: http://bit.ly/LavaCOS

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