The West Virginia University (WVU) School of Dentistry will partner with the Center for Research & Education in Technology (CRET) to design, build, and equip an Innovation Center in Morgantown. The Innovation Center will feature some of the most advanced dental technology available to enhance the student and patient experience, according to the school.
WVU is one of only 3 schools selected so far in the United States and Canada to have a CRET Innovation Center, which will feature newly developed, high-tech equipment valued at nearly $500,000. In addition to students and faculty, the center will be open to the state’s private dentists, approximately 85% of whom are WVU School of Dentistry alumni.
“We are excited to enhance our dental curriculum with new technology and equipment, brought to us by CRET and dental manufacturers, that will enhance our students’ training and experience,” said Anthony T. Borgia, dean of the WVU School of Dentistry.
CRET is a national nonprofit consortium of more than 20 dental equipment manufacturers and suppliers. It will consign equipment from these companies such as CAD/CAM technologies, digital imaging, digital impressions, CBCT, and electronic practice management systems for a period of 3 years at no cost to the school. Students who use the equipment will then offer their feedback.
“With this new Innovation Center, our students will receive an unrivaled learning opportunity and be exposed to a variety of equipment and technology that will help them make informed equipment decisions in private practice as they prepare to deliver the best in modern dental care to patients,” said Borgia.
Available to fourth-year students, the Innovation Center will simulate a private practice, complete with a director, a separate reception area, 5 or 6 dental care units, auxiliary equipment for the newest restorative techniques, and the latest in digital imaging.
Also, the Innovation Center will be open to alumni who would like to visit and observe equipment they otherwise might not have the chance to evaluate. For alumni and local practitioners, the school plans to offer continuing education classes in conjunction with the space.
The Innovation Center will be located on the second floor of WVU Dental Care in the Suncrest Towne Center. CRET Innovation Centers also have been opened at Loma Linda University in California and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. CRET aims to expand to 2 or 3 more schools per year in the future, based on funding for renovations and staffing at host schools.
The mission of CRET is to ensure that dental students and residents are able to incorporate new devices and materials into their overall curricula,” said Don Hobbs, CEO and chairman of the board of CRET and vice president of equipment and technology with Henry Schein Dental.
“While receiving the very best in oral care, patients will now get to experience a wide variety of the latest dental treatment systems, thanks for manufacturing and supplier partners who are committed to exposing future oral health professionals with the best dental equipment and technology available on the market,” Hobbs said.