Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry to Create New Innovation Center for Dental Education with Help from a CRET IC Award


The Nashville-based dental school is the 6th school to receive the award which will help the school add cutting edge dental technology to its facilities and curriculum.

Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry logo and CRET logo

A new innovation center (IC) featuring the latest dental technology and materials is being created at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry with support from the Center for Research and Education Technology’s (CRET) 2023 Innovation Center Award.

The new facility will be located in the school of dentistry’s main building and is scheduled to open in 2024 with the class of 2025 being the school’s first cohort to use the new equipment, according to a press release. Previous CRET collaborations with dental school have included awards with a value estimated at more than $1 million in equipment, merchandise, design, installation, and training services.

“I’m thrilled and honored to launch the new innovation center for our dental students,” said Cherae Farmer-Dixon, DDS, MSPH, FACD, FICD, dean and professor of 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.”

The CRET collaboration with Meharry will help the school create 5 new exam rooms with different equipment such as CAD/CAM solutions, intraoral scanners, dental lasers, salivary diagnostics, and other advanced technologies and materials. The equipment in each room will be from different manufacturers to help ensure Meharry dental students train on a variety of systems. The IC will be designed to operate like a private dental practice and students will see patients and collaborate with dental hygienists and assistants.

“CRET is pleased to award Meharry College School of Dentistry with an Innovation Center. As the newest Dental School recipient of the award, the CRET Innovation Center will elevate each student’s experience in operating in an environment that will replicate what they will find in a practice when they graduate. In addition to the exposure to different equipment & materials, the ability to learn how best to utilize staff in a team environment, will give the student the skills to work independently once they graduate.” Debora Bridges, CEO and Chair of CRET Executive Committee.

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