By Edward F. Rossomando, DDS, PhD, MS, and Valentina Savath
On June 30, 22 students from three dental schools in the U.S. and one in Canada filed into a walnut-paneled conference room at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine to begin the unique four-week Biodontics Educational Program (BEP). In its fourth year, the BEP is known worldwide as the only program of total immersion into the world of dentistry, with the goal of providing dental students with a perspective of dentistry not usually included in any core U.S. dental curricula.
Three main themes guide the BEP program. The first focuses on the need for the dentist to function as the Chief Executive Officer of the dental office. The second calls attention to the dentist as an innovator and entrepreneur within dentistry. Finally, the third theme acknowledges that dentists are leaders and explores how they, as educated members of the community, should be knowledgeable about issues that concern them as health professionals and ordinary citizens.
The 2008 Biodontics Faculty
As in past years, a unique group of experts was assembled for the 2008 faculty. From their seminars, Biodontics fellows gained insight and appreciation for the complex and symbiotic relationship between dental practitioner and dental manufacturer. In addition, to gain firsthand experience with manufacturing, 2008 Biodontics fellows toured the facilities of two manufacturing companies: Pentron, Inc. and Centrix, Inc.
The forward-thinking product presentation topics were dental lasers, courtesy of Benco, Inc. and Hoya ConBio, Inc., the Sirona CAD/CAM system, demonstrated by Patterson Dental, Inc., Schick digital X-ray, and Eaglesoft patient management software. (Fig. 1 shows a group of Biodontics fellows exploring the use of the Hoya ConBio laser. Fig. 2 shows a group of Biodontics fellows discovering the interactive features of the Sirona CAD/CAM system.)
The demographics of the Class of Biodontics 2008
The 22 students participating in the Biodontics Educational Program 2008 hail from diverse backgrounds. Among the 13 women and eight men, 16 attended UCONN School of Dental Medicine as first-year dental students, and six came from other institutions. This year, two international fellows joined BEP, one a private prosthodontist from Venezuela, and another a first-year student from the University of Manitoba School of Dentistry. From other dental schools, Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry sent a second-year student, and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine sent a first-year dental student. For the first time, the Biodontics 2008 program hosted both a professor and a student from Tunxis Community College Dental Hygiene Program.
Participating 2008 Faculty and Corporate Affiliation
Dr. Arthur Ashman, Bioplant, Inc.
Drs. Gregory Books and Kurt Klem, AnterioRest® Dental
Dr. Greg Chotkowski, StemSave™
William Dragan, Centrix, Inc.
Dr. Elizabeth Roberts and Michael Harris, Johnson and Johnson, Inc.
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hillman, Oragenics, Inc.
Jon Horn, Benco Dental, Inc.
Garrett Ludwig, Diversified Design Technology, Inc.
Richard Malinsky, Richard Malinsky & Associates, LLC
Joe Sakaduski, Sakaduski Marketing Solutions, Inc.
Paul Wennerholm, Patterson Dental, Inc.
The dental industry provides for the success of the Biodontics program
In addition to providing faculty and products, there are many other opportunities for the industry to get involved with the Biodontics Educational Program. For example, interested companies can have their corporate logos included in the Biodontics syllabus. A company may wish to provide scholarship funds for dental students, which are used to defray lodging and travel costs. These scholarships will be acknowledged in the program and carry the company name. Of course, the most direct way to contribute to the Biodontics program is for the company to provide products, equipment or services for demonstration. Whether it’s exhibiting the latest piece of dental technology or giving a tour of a manufacturing facility, companies can find a way to engage dental students and influence the next generation of consumers.
For more information about how your company can become a sponsor of Biodontics 2009, contact Dr. Edward F. Rossomando at [email protected].