LMU to partner with dental innovation center

Lincoln Memorial University President Clayton Hess (seated left) joined LMU-College of Dental Medicine Dean Denise Terese-Koch (seated right) in the ceremonial signing of the memorandum of understanding for the CRET Innovation Center. Joining Hess and Terese-Koch were, standing from left, LMU Vice President for Finance Christy Graham, LMU Board Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk, LMU Director of Dental Hygiene Trish Walker and Dr. Joe Smiddy, LMU Trustee.

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

LMU-CDM was awarded an Innovation Center grant by CRET and will develop what will be the fourth such center in the country. LMU joins West Virginia University School of Dentistry, University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Mississippi.

LMU was selected in part because of its unique humanitarian mission to provide dental oral health care to the two million people in the East Tennessee and Appalachian Region.

The LMU mission statement notes that graduates will be prepared at the highest level of knowledge, skill, competency, and compassion.

“CRET is proud to partner with LMU for the development of a new Innovation Center,” said CRET CEO and A-dec Inc. School and Government Sales Manager Susan Ferrante. “The new IC will 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.”

The dental school builds the IC and funds the staff. In return, CRET provides all the equipment and merchandise for the IC at no cost to the school. The LMU 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, FAGD, MBA. “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.”

The agreement is worth over $1 million.

The IC is designed as a private practice dental office with treatment rooms, a dental laboratory, a sterilization area, reception area, records area, staff areas and consultation areas. CRET provides the IC with equipment for six treatment rooms and all the associated technology. Within the IC, dental services are provided to the public by dental students under the close supervision of faculty.

“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 a private practice, a dentist must function as chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief operating officer and human resources director all while serving patients.

The IC simulates a functioning dental office and exposes dental students to all the management tasks outside of dentistry.

They will also gain hands-on experience working with patients.