The pedagogical strategy used in the second and third-year curriculum regarding complete dentures may soon undergo an update. Current practice relies on a process initially developed and updated in the middle of the 20th century with numerous, lengthy patient appointments and lengthy hand-crafted laboratory steps that are not commonly performed by practicing dentists.
Joseph Curtis, clinical assistant professor of prosthodontics, is working with Aaron Cho, chair and associate professor of prosthodontics at the University of Iowa, to look for ways to update and modernize this process to eliminate unneeded steps.
In particular, Curtis is proposing using optical scanning technology to digitize preliminary and master impressions, which will then be used as the basis for fabricating custom trays using 3D printing technology and generating a printed or milled denture base.
Using this approach could reduce unnecessary steps in the dental education process, promote the use of digital technology, and support student interest in digital alternatives.
The study will use qualitative and quantitative data to assess the success of the proposal.
The study is supported by the University of Iowa College of Dentistry’s Clinical/Dental Education Research Initiative Support Program (CRISP). This program is intended to provide support for faculty who have a specific clinical (or dental education) research question.