With the cutting of a ceremonial ribbon, Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine officially opened the doors to its Center for Implant and Digital Technology (CIDT). The Center will serve as state-of-the-art space for digital dentistry-focused education, patient care, and research.
“The Center not only enhances patient care,” said Stony Brook University Interim President Michael Bernstein at the December 5th opening event. “It also invites invaluable training opportunities for the next generation of dental medicine leaders.” This training, he explained, will also include high-tech, collaborative research.
The addition of the Center for Implant and Digital Technology is a natural next step in a long line of success within digital dentistry for the School of Dental Medicine. Notably, in 2017, the School was selected as one of five academic institutions nationally by the American College of Prosthodontists to pilot a digital dentistry curriculum.
Now, the innovational curriculum is fully implemented, and students will have full access to the latest technological advances in computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) within the Center. As a result, students receive advanced hands-on training and enter into professional practice having immense experience providing the most current care options.
Importantly, as Long Island’s largest oral healthcare provider, the School of Dental Medicine’s addition of the Center increases access to CAD/CAM technologies for its 15,000 patients and the community. Whereas traditional dental restorations were time-consuming and made using uncomfortable impression trays, the entire process can now be done digitally – and quickly – within the Center.
From start to finish, the creation of crowns and bridges can now be completed entirely onsite, and in less than 24-hours, starting with non-invasive, high-tech scanners used to electronically capture images of a patient’s teeth and gums in real-time. From there, information is digitally transferred, and dental practitioners design and then 3-D print or mill dental restorations for delivery to the patient.
Visitors to the School of Dental Medicine’s ribbon-cutting ceremony were able to view this process first-hand through student-led guided tours and demonstrations. Student Shradha Duggal also invited those in attendance to hear an overview of ongoing research, an essential component of the Center.
“I believe that through digital dentistry, I can make a difference in treating patients with craniofacial anomalies,” said Duggal, who is currently studying 3-D printed prosthetic devices used to correct the defects of the lip and palate in terms of more efficiently and comfortably treating patients.
Other research projects underway at the School of Dental Medicine include the generation of data that will be used to improve the design and performance of dental implants and the review of data acquisition and processing. Each project is poised to impact patient care directly.