MELVILLE, N.Y., Oct. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, announced today an innovative new partnership with the American College of Prosthodontists Education Foundation (ACPEF). The new partnership commits $1.25 million to fund a program of the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) for the development of a groundbreaking new curriculum that incorporates computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology into the dental school curriculum.
The ACPEF Digital Dentistry Curriculum Initiative will be offered to dental students and practicing dentists through continuing education programs. The new initiative is expected to be piloted by several dental schools beginning in 2017.
"We believe CAD/CAM technology enhances dentistry and we are pleased to support this initiative, which will offer dental students the education and training needed to effectively apply this exciting technology in their future work," said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein. "By rallying the industry to ensure that dental students are fully educated on the practice benefits and patient benefits of digital dentistry, we are helping the dentists of tomorrow succeed. We are proud to partner with the ACPEF in helping to accelerate the adoption of digital dentistry."
According to the ACP, CAD/CAM technology was introduced to dentistry decades ago but is still only used in 15% of dental practices in the U.S. A recent study by the ACP confirmed that the underlying cause of the slow adoption of digital dentistry may not be the technology itself or its ability to deliver better patient care, but rather a relative lack of available education and training about its applications and benefits among users.
"Digital Dentistry is transforming patient experiences, as well as opening up incredible new pathways that support excellence, improved workflows, greater productivity and importantly, better care for our patients," said Dr. Lyndon Cooper, Chair of the ACPEF. "The ACP looks forward to creating a new digital curriculum for dentistry. This exciting undertaking is made possible by the generous support of Henry Schein, and we are grateful for their commitment to the betterment of patient care, our practices, and education."
More than 5,000 dental students graduate each year from 66 dental schools across the U.S.
"The best patient care begins with the best educational tools, and for the profession of dentistry, the best possible tools are digital," said Dr. Robert Gottlander, Vice President of Global Prosthetic Solutions at Henry Schein. "The partnership announced today is vitally important to ensure that the coming generation of dental professionals has the training and confidence to derive all of the benefits that digital technology has to offer to their patients. We are so grateful to our supplier partners at Planmeca, 3Shape, Glidewell, BioHorizons, and CAMLOG for their financial support of Henry Schein in this essential initiative."