Dental education at a crossroads

Dentists have proven themselves time and time again to be dynamic innovators in the medical field. From Dr. Horace Wells, the pioneer of anesthesia, to Dr. William Rollins, who revolutionized radiation protection, there is a rich history of dentists on the cutting edge. The artisanship inherent in dentistry pushes modernization. All of this is driven by the ideal of comprehensive patient-centered care. However, in a field entrenched in tradition, new technologies can seem disruptive. Often we are slow to integrate them, especially in an educational setting. Though there are countless factors in evolving face of dentistry, one consistent challenge remains.

How it’s made: CAD/CAM dentistry

With more and more industries moving away from physical information, many are looking at technology as a more efficient means of capturing, translating and delivering that information. While CAD/CAM (Computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) dentistry has been around for a few decades, the technology itself has matured to the point where it is more accessible in terms of cost and usability. Whether it’s used to digitally send an impression to a lab or to provide a patient with a same-day crown, CAD/CAM technology is quickly being integrated into the field of dentistry.

With that being said, this video is a very basic introduction to the general workflow for a CAD/CAM crown. While this video uses a specific system, the concepts discussed are general and relevant to most systems.

Evidence-based dentistry: what you need to know

As a health sciences major, I enrolled in a course called Evidence-Based Practice. Every week, we would learn new skills to apply to the ultimate objective: choose a clinical topic in our field and evaluate the literature to make a (hypothetical) treatment decision. As an undergraduate student with little exposure to clinical research papers, the assigned task seemed overwhelming. The truth is, learning how to evaluate literature is a skill that takes effort and time to develop, but doing so is critical. Evidence-based dentistry is so important, in fact, that it is listed as one of ADEA’s entry-level competencies for graduates entering into practice. Despite this, new dentists struggle to implement it into their practices. The two most frequently cited obstacles are lack of time and insufficient background knowledge to evaluate research critically. If you are unfamiliar with evidence-based dentistry, here are some things to help get you acquainted.

The role of technology in oral home care

Man In Pajamas Brushing Teeth And Using Mobile PhoneTracking health and fitness through mobile apps and high-tech wearables has boomed significantly in the past few years. In particular, wearable devices, such as smartwatches, have evolved from simply tracking steps or heart rate to even monitoring glucose, breathing, blood pressure, cardiac arrthymia, sleep patterns and even head injury severity. When it comes to mobile apps, a 2015 study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that an astonishing 58.23% of all U.S. phone users surveyed had downloaded at least one health-related mobile app. Welcome to the age of the “quantified self.”

ASDA’s webinars will keep you up-to-date on the latest in dentistry

computer webinarsThere is no denying that technology touches almost every aspect of our lives. The dental field is no different–it is constantly advancing due to all aspects of technology. However, it would be short-sighted to attempt to discuss this topic in totality because it is too expansive to cover here. Furthermore, who am I to inform you of the latest in dentistry? We are peers and generally have similar dental experiences thus far. Not to mention the information won’t be the latest by the time this is published!

Luckily, information on technological advances in dentistry are out there. The fact that you are reading this displays an eagerness to learn about them. In think an active approach to professional development is what will set you apart from other students when competing for those coveted dental school seats.

Read on to find out how ASDA’s webinars can help boost your application to dental school!

Dental informatics help make informed decisions

computer technologyImagine if all the patient information you record could be seen with interactive charts. Do you think patients would be better educated about their disease progression if they could see computer renderings of their bone receding over time? Could interpreting pocket depth measurements graphically help with diagnosis or patient education?

Dentists are meticulous, analyzing and recording patient information and perfecting our preparations to the millimeter. Yet there is a general lack of awareness regarding dental informatics, a spectrum of dentistry dedicated to data collection, analysis and interpretation of what we practice regularly.

WesternU anatomy lab goes virtual

First year dental students at Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine (CDM) will now have the opportunity to experience gross anatomy lab in a whole new way – through virtual technology. At the newly created J and K Virtual Reality Learning Center (VRLC), CDM students will be able to dissect the human body through four virtual modalities.