E4D and Sirona Dental have made revolutionary advancements in dental education at the College of Dental Medicine.

Our dental students have access to 14 E4D NEVO systems and 35 E4D design stations, seven CEREC systems with 35 CEREC design stations, 35 3Shape design stations and a D800 scanner.

Freshman dental students begin learning digital dentistry in dental morphology where they utilize digital software to virtually wax. In addition, they use grading software to evaluate how close their physical wax-ups are to the ideal. As they advance to fixed prosthodontics, they use E4D Compare to evaluate their preparations. This software utilizes 3D surface mapping technology to evaluate a student preparation against a gold standard preparation, over and under reduction (Fig 1).

With removable partial dentures, all students use 3Shape software to scan and design RPDs digitally. This mirrors the new digital RPD workflow in the clinic where frameworks are printed from the local lab based on student digital designs. During the second semester of the students’ second years, there is an entire course dedicated to chairside CAD/CAM dentistry, teaching 70 hours of material on digital dentistry and modern ceramics. In this class, CEREC and E4D are taught side by side in great detail.

Before students enter the clinic, they will have scanned approximately 100 quadrants and designed and milled several cases. By the time they get into the clinics, they are thinking CAD/CAM dentistry.

The technology has been revolutionary to education and has truly taken hold at MUSC. In fact, some students graduate doing more single visit CAD/ CAM restorations than conventional restorations. Last year a student completed in excess of 20 restorations.

We have recently expanded our CAD/CAM clinic to seven chairs with a CAD/CAM system in each room. Thanks to Patterson Dental and Sirona Dental, students now have access to a CEREC Omnicam color scanner and are utilizing it heavily (Figure 2) along with CEREC Bluecam systems. We have a dedicated CAD/ CAM assistant, Gail Ward, who is highly trained to assist students with single visit dentistry (Figure 3). A typical day in the seven- operatory MUSC CAD/CAM clinic is very enjoyable for everyone. Our patients appreciate a single three-hour appointment for an e.max crown, rather than multiple three-hour appointments for a conventional crown. There is no question CAD/CAM is here to stay and MUSC is making it a top educational priority.