Lincoln Memorial University to Develop Innovation Center at Its Dental School

Dentistry Today


The Lincoln Memorial University College of Dental Medicine (LMU-CDM) has partnered with the Center for Research and Education in Technology (CRET) to design, build, and equip a digital technology Innovation Center (IC) at the LMU Tower in Knoxville.

LMU-CDM received an IC grant from CRET to develop what will be the fourth such center in the country, joining the West Virginia University School of Dentistry, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Mississippi.

The college was selected in part because of its unique humanitarian mission to provide oral healthcare to the 2 million people in the east Tennessee and Appalachian region, LMU-CDM said.

“CRET is proud to partner with LMU for the development of a new Innovation Center,” said Susan Ferrante, CRET CEO and school and government sales manager at A-dec Inc.

“The new IC will provide students with provide students with the opportunity to experience the latest in dental technology and equipment, helping prepare them for their future careers, which is the overarching goal of CRET and its corporate partners,” said Ferrante.

LMU-CDM will build the IC and fund the staff. In return, CRET will provide all of the equipment and merchandise for the IC at no cost to the school. The IC will have six different operatories fully furnished by six different manufacturers.

“The integration of state of the art technology into the College of Dental Medicine changes the world of dental medicine and dental education,” said LMU-CDM dean Denise Terese-Koch, DDS.

“Our graduates will be equipped to provide patients with quality, comprehensive patient- and person-centered care in a stress-free environment utilizing the most current technological advances,” said Terese-Koch. 

The agreement is worth more than $1 million. The IC will be designed like a private practice dental office with treatment rooms, a dental laboratory, a sterilization area, a reception area, a records area, staff areas, and consultation areas. Dental services will be provided to the public by dental students under the close supervision of faculty, LMU-CDM said.

“This is a tremendous opportunity as we continue to build the foundation for our College of Dental Medicine,” said LMU president Clayton Hess. “The CRET Innovation Center will ensure our students are practice-ready upon graduation so they can make an immediate impact in the health of the communities they serve.”

In private practices, dentists must function as chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and human resources director all while serving patients, LMU-CDM said. The IC will simulate a functioning dental office and expose students to all of the management tasks outside of dentistry while providing hands-on experience with patients, LMU-CDM said.

LMU-CDM is now pursuing accreditation for a college of dental medicine from the Commission on Dental Accreditation and approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Pending accreditation approvals, LMU-CDM will welcome its inaugural class in the fall of 2022. It will be located in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the LMU Tower, where four floors are currently under renovation.

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