Gift to give dental students experience with chairside imaging

$500,000 equipment donation from Sirona is expected to provide dental students with an ‘authentic clinical experience’


April 9, 2014

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation  is pleased to announce a $500,000 equipment donation that will bring additional leading-edge technology to the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s School of Dentistry and clinic.

Sirona, a global dental technology company headquartered in New York, donated 10 CEREC units to the school. These chairside digital imaging units allow dentists to take 3D images of chipped teeth and manufacture crowns on-site while a patient waits.

Linda M. Wells, associate dean for clinical programs, said the new equipment will give dental students valuable hands-on experience working with cutting-edge equipment.

“These are becoming much more commonly seen,” she said of the CEREC units, which offer computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing capabilities. “As a dental education institution we need to make sure our students are prepared when they get out into private practice.”

The digital imaging system replaces a traditional impression or mold when a dentist needs to repair a tooth. The CEREC unit takes a 3D image of a damaged tooth and nearby teeth, then generates a computer model for the cap needed to repair it. The model can be manipulated and tweaked until a perfect fit is created. Then, with the touch of a button, that model can be sent to an on-site milling unit, which chisels the crown from a block of porcelain in about 15 minutes.

The School of Dentistry relies on in-kind donations such as this one from Sirona to give its students the opportunity to learn using the industry’s most advanced technology.

“We are pleased to be adding CEREC units to our educational program,” said Marsha Pyle, dean of the School of Dentistry. “Providing our students with the opportunity to learn with this technology helps to prepare them for contemporary dental practice. Having this authentic clinical experience available while students are learning represents our commitment to ensuring the best educational programming.”

The UMKC School of Dentistry originated in 1881 as the Kansas City Dental College. The name has changed and the school has grown and evolved into a multi-faceted institution, but it has maintained a tradition of excellence in education for more than a century. The School offers a varied and complete range of educational experiences for students of dentistry and dental hygiene and for graduate and continuing education students.  

The UMKC Foundation, launched in 2008, is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves as the official fundraising and fund management organization for UMKC.