Evaluating The Technologic Literacy of Your Dental School

Edward F. Rossomando, DDS,  PhD , MS

The course is designed to assist a dental school in evaluating the emerging
technologic literacy of the students and faculty. Emerging technologies
are any services, technologies, equipment, and products that are already in
the market but not available at the school and therefore not available for
clinical undergraduate or graduate resident education.

In this course, we will examine the following questions:

1. Is the topic “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” included in your
undergraduate curriculum?

2. Are emerging technologies used by faculty in lectures to provide
relevance of basic science to clinical dentistry?

3. Does your school have a “training program” in emerging technologies?

4. Does your school have a budget to acquire emerging technologies?

5. Do you feel your school is keeping up with the acquisition of emerging

Integrating Emerging Technology into the Dental School Curriculum

The following are the desired elements for integration of emerging
technologies into the didactic, pre-clinical and clinical curriculum for
dental students. These elements should serve as a guide for writing the
syllabus for  course  designed to use emerging technologies. The syllabus
should cover:

Basic Science – The basic science describing the physics, biology, and
informatics related to each CRET technology should be presented to students
as part of a didactic early exposure to the technology.

Technology Vendors – Students should be given a description of the
current vendors or systems available for each CRET technology and the
features or aspects that may be unique to each of those vendors or systems.


Technology Application – Students should be trained on the proper use of
each technology at the pre-clinical level with some measure of proficiency
being completed prior to  use  in the clinics or CRET clinical center.

Faculty Training – Teaching faculty who will be exposing students to a
CRET technology at both the pre-clinical and clinical levels should be
trained in the proper use of each technology.

Financial/Economic Considerations in Decisions on Acquisition of
Technology - Students should be taught how to assess the  cost effectiveness
and/or return on investment as a consideration for the purchase or adoption
of a CRET technology. This may be in integrated as part of an existing
practice or business management course.

Competency and Satisfaction– Students should be assessed for level of
pre-clinical and clinical competency with a CRET technology as well as
their level of satisfaction with the training and exposure to that
technology. Additional assessments could also include faculty and patient
satisfaction and measures of utilization.
- Ethics and Clinical Decision Making – Students should assess the
existing evidence base for each CRET technology and understand the ethical
and evidence-based considerations for using that technology.