Open Letter


CRET is an acronym for  the Center for Research and Education in Technology.  The goal of CRET is to form a professional partnership between the dental industry and the academic side of dentistry.  Traditionally, dental students are exposed to a narrow group of products and dental technologies while obtaining their education.  This is due primarily to economic limitations, as well as time and faculty restraints that the dental schools operate under. 
The advantage of CRET’s cooperative effort by the dental industry with the dental school will now enrich the student’s educational experience and better prepare them for life after graduation.  This is accomplished by the dental school constructing a six operatory dental practice inside the dental clinic.  This practice would mirror the most modern dental practice you would find in private practice. 
Each of the students would experience technologies like CAD CAM restorations, digital imaging, digital impressions, Cone Beam x-ray, a variety of six different delivery systems, four handed dentistry, and electronic practice management systems to name a few.  In the materials area, they would not be relegated to one type of impression material or cement, but they would be able to experience a variety of materials in the Technology Center.
At present, we have two dental schools up and running with the Technology Centers.  They are Loma Linda University and University of Missouri Kansas City.  The CRET members have chosen to evaluate these first two over the next year before proceeding with other dental schools.  This gives us time to access our model to make sure the CRET members and the dental schools are getting maximum benefit from the program.
It is CRET’s goal to establish two or three schools per year in the future.  Many schools have professed a strong interest in the program, but one of the limiting factors is the school’s ability to secure funding to renovate and staff the space needed for the Technology Center. 
The benefit to your company is that you will have approximately 100 plus senior dental students per year using your products that may not presently be in the school. The equipment and materials are consigned to the school for a period of three years.   During this time, if the school decides to transition a product from the Technology Center to the main clinic, they can do so by buying the product for the main clinic.
CRET has a strict policy of controlling what materials and equipment are allowed in the Technology Center.  They must come from a CRET member, and in the case of materials, the donated materials cannot be “leaked” into the main clinic. 
CRET holds a meeting for all members once a year, usually the day prior to the ADA meeting. There are various committees for equipment and materials as well as advisory committees to each dental school that has a Technology Center.
The responsibility of the Advisory committee is to make sure the integration of the technology into the curriculum and feedback from the students is provided.  In other words there is accountability for this investment by the industry in the Technology Center.
I hope as you read over this material, you find being a member of the CRET organization will be beneficial to your company.  Our President, Dr. Ed Rossomando, and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.  We look forward to your joining the CRET family. 
Howard Sorenson
Royal Dental Group
Updated: February 2021