Meharry Medical College’s School of Dentistry in Nashville will launch a new innovation center to house the latest in dental technology and materials to prepare students for modern-day dental practice. The center will be supported in part by the 2023 Innovation Center Award, presented to the Meharry School of Dentistry by the Center for Research and Education Technology. The Meharry innovation center is slated to open within the next year.
The center, located within the School of Dentistry’s main building, will allow Meharry to introduce the latest in dental and digital technology including innovative products to its dental school. In collaboration with CRET, Meharry will expand its educational areas to replicate real-life dental practices with five new examination rooms. Each room will consist of different equipment and materials selected by Meharry faculty such as computerized crowns and bridges, intraoral digital scanners, laser equipment, salivary diagnostics, oral care probiotics, and other advanced restorative materials. The center will be designed like a private dental office where students will treat patients in collaboration with dental hygienists and assistants.
“I’m thrilled and honored to launch the new innovation center for our dental students,” said Cherae Farmer-Dixon, dean and professor at Meharry’s School of Dentistry. “The innovation center allows our school to expand and amplify our student’s educational experience by incorporating new technology, equipment, and practices into the current curriculum. The more our students learn, the better care they will provide to our nation’s dental patients, including those in minority and underserved communities.”
Minority and underserved populations continue to bear a disproportionate burden of oral diseases due to inadequate access to effective dental services and the lack of diversity within the dental workforce. Currently, there are only approximately 8,000 Black dentists in the United States — 27 percent of whom graduated from Meharry, according to the dental school.