Thanks to a million-dollar gift from philanthropist and dentist Dr. David Konikoff and his family, the Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM) has opened the doors of its Konikoff Digital Dental Studio as part of the school’s clinical training facility.
Through this transformational gift, the Konikoffs will further strengthen the school’s progressive education in digital dental technologies and enable faculty at Touro Dental Health to perform same-day dentistry, which reduces multiple patient visits into a single visit—not commonly practiced in a dental school environment, according to TCDM.
The gift also will fund construction of the Konikoff Education and Broadcast Center. The 3,500-square-foot space will accommodate teaching methodologies geared for small group learning, as well as distance education and teaching, along with the capacity for professional broadcasts.
The Konikoff family hails from Virginia Beach, where they support many charitable organizations and communal institutions. Konikoff and his family believe that working to make the world a better place is key to self-growth and that positively impacting the lives of others matches TCDM’s mission.
“What Hashem (God) gives us is not ours, so we must choose to give it back in purposeful and meaningful ways to make the world a better place,” said Konikoff.
With the aid of this gift, TCDM said, the school will honor Konikoff’s life’s work and the memory of his late wife, Sofia A”H, by providing dental education at the highest possible level so students can give back and support their communities with integrity, professionalism, and compassion.
“Through the immense generosity of the Konikoffs, we have taken an incredible step forward to deliver dental education in the most advanced setting,” said Ronnie Myers, DDS, dean at TCDM.
“Since our founding, we have been committed to providing our students with the technology, education, and hands-on training essential to the delivery of exceptional patient care. The addition of the Konikoff Digital Dentistry Studio, and eventually the Konikoff Education and Broadcast Center, will allow us to continue that mission for years to come,” Myers said.
Initially housing multiple 3D printers, 3Shape intraoral scanners, and other advanced digital instruments, the Konikoff Digital Dental Studio will be used as an onsite laboratory and for small-group classes, allowing dental students to gain hands-on experience with the technology and manufacturing processes preparing them for the future of dentistry, TCDM said.
The space will accommodate four new CAD/CAM milling machines and MillBox by CIMsystem software, a state-of-the-art dental CAM solution that simplifies nesting and toolpath creation, TCDM said.
With the addition of four multipurpose design and implant planning workstations, it also will be home to sophisticated DGShape dental mills designed to rapidly cut and shape dental crowns, bridges, and other prosthetic devices, TCDM said. Two automatic sintering ovens will provide finishing for prostheses manufactured onsite.
Located on the third floor of TCDM’s dental training facility, the studio also has been outfitted with a viewing window so TCDM students, patients, and visitors alike can see the multitude of innovative digital systems in action, TCDM said.
“I am incredibly grateful for the Konikoff family gift, their friendship, and their steadfast support, which will allow our students to become outstanding practitioners,” said Edward F. Farkas, DDS, MA, TCDM vice dean.
“Having partners who share our vision for improving the world, by improving healthcare delivery and dental education in the 21st century allows us to continue to provide our students with an unparalleled educational experience,” Farkas said.
The Konikoff Digital Dental Studio will allow TCDM to perform and manufacture restorations on-site, which will support Touro Dental Health’s newly established Complex Care Clinic, saving patients significant time and cost, the school said.
“The Konikoff Digital Dental Studio is already proving to be a life-changing resource for patients of Touro Dental Health, providing us with the tools needed to craft implants and solutions in record time while still providing the highest standard of care possible,” said Barbara Jurim, DDS, director of Touro Dental Health’s Complex Care Clinic.
Building upon the success of the Konikoff Digital Dentistry Studio, plans are already being made for the future Konikoff Education and Broadcast Center, with construction anticipated to begin as early as spring 2021.