The University of Connecticut (UCONN) School of Dental Medicine is creating the Center for Prosthodontic Technology Integration (CpTi) to provide cutting-edge education on the digital technologies that will be vital to the dental practice and laboratory of the future. CpTi will have three integrated facilities—a research dental clinic, dental laboratory and educational facility—that provide students with the hands-on ability to work with a variety of CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping equipment in a commercial or clinical setting.
"Working in partnership with industry and other schools within the University, CpTi's vision is to create an experiential learning environment, a place where dentists and technicians can test and compare technologies before they make a purchase. Our goal is to bring academia and business together in a common platform and have a combination of income streams to ensure sustainability of CpTi," explains Bob Kelly, DDS, MS, DMedSc, professor, Department of Reconstructive Sciences, Center for Biomaterials and Director of the Dental Clinical Research Center, who is spearheading the development of CpTi.
In addition, CpTi's researchers will offer academic testing of systems and materials, serve as an industry incubator for new ideas and educational methods (such as a generic educational CAD training software), and work with manufacturers to scientifically validate their products. The University has dedicated almost 3,700 square feet of space for CpTi. Renovation on the research clinic begins this month; renovation of the educational facility and laboratory is scheduled to begin in 2010. While partial funding has come from the UConn Health Center, NIH-sponsored General Clinical Research Center, Ivoclar Vivadent and Vita Zahnfabrik, the CpTi is soliciting additional industry partners to help raise the $2.5 million it needs to complete the project. For more information, call Dr. Kelly at 860-679-3747 or e-mail Kelly@nso1.uchc.edu.