New CAD/CAM Unit Improves Patient Care
Last September, with the acquisition of a second computeraided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) system, third and fourthyear DDS students gained new opportunities to use a technology that will give them a competitive edge over students in schools using less advanced technology.
CAD/CAM is integral to aesthetic dentistry as it enables dentists to fabricate a tooth restoration, such as a crown or inlay, in a matter of minutes.
"With two CAD/CAM units in operation, third and fourthyear students are able to complete at least one CAD/CAM restoration per semester. As a result, more patients are receiving bettercontoured, longerlasting restorations," said Dr. Mark Wolff, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, who oversaw acquisition of the new system.
In the six months since the new system was introduced, students completed more than 300 inlay, onlay, veneer, and porcelain crown restorations—nearly ten times as many as in the previous year.
In February, NYUCD also became the first dental school in the country to acquire a new CAD/CAM system that operates without the reflective powders that older models use. The Bluestone Center for Clinical Research is evaluating whether the newer system significantly facilitates the restoration process.
Computerized Quizzes Ease Board Exam Preparation
Getting ready for the dental board exams has become more convenient for students now that NYUCD has supplemented preparatory classes with yearround practice quizzes that students take on Blackboard, NYU’s testing Web site, at times of their own choosing.
Every time a student logs in, Blackboard generates a new quiz with 10 questions randomly chosen from over 1,000 in its online database, automatically grades the quiz and corrects mistakes. Students who do not receive a passing grade (seven correct answers) can retake the quiz with new questions.
"Students are spending more time preparing for the boards now that they have the convenience of online practice," explains Dr. Mark Wolff, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, which administers the quizzes.
The questions were coauthored by Dr. James Kaim, Professor of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, and Dr. Barnett Bucklan, Clinical Associate Professor of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, with assistance from Administrative Aide Elaine Bajana. The team will add 300 new questions to the database each semester.
Podcasting Comes to NYUCD
NYUCD has begun posting audio recordings of most of its predoctoral lectures on its Intranet site, where they can easily be downloaded to a computer or portable MP3 player. "The process of podcasting—or playing back—recordings on an iPod or other MP3 player enables students to repeatedly access a lecture that they may have missed or need to hear again," said Dr. Elise Eisenberg, Director of Dental Informatics and Digital Services, who worked with student leaders to get the system up and running. Dr. Eisenberg noted that the technology will improve even further next fall, when many of the audio recordings will be synchronized to PowerPoint presentations of professors’ lectures.