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September 16, 2013

State-of-the-art dental clinic opens at UMKC

Students will learn how to use the latest technology and equipment, school officials say.

A new clinic at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry is among the top in its class, school leaders said Monday.

The clinic, the Charles Dunlap Innovation Center for Research and Education in Technology, opened with the latest in dental tool technology and is only the third of its kind in the country.

“This will allow our students to graduate having had exposure to the latest and best technology in the industry,” said Marsha Pyle, dean of the school of dentistry.

About $2.25 million was raised for the clinic and its staffing. James Trotter, a clinical assistant professor at the School of Dentistry, is the director.

Leading equipment manufacturers supplied products for seven “operatoriums,” or dental rooms. Devices including hand-held drills and hands-free faucets are on loan to the university.

Setting up operatoriums at each of the 65 accredited dental schools across the country is a national effort being undertaken by the Center for Research and Education in Technology. The center is a nonprofit association of 29 dental industry leaders that was founded in 2004 to bring the latest technology to dental students.

Because technology changes so rapidly, until now even the best-equipped dental schools could not keep up.

“So students left dental school without having been exposed to the last technologies,” said Gordon Hagler, president and chief operating officer of Dental EZ Group, one of the companies in the association.

Because UMKC has the only accredited dental school in Missouri, two-thirds of the state’s dentists are graduates of the school, said UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton.

Dunlap, who graduated from UMKC in 1960, is a professor emeritus at UMKC after a 45-year career with the dental school.

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