ST. PAUL, Minnesota--By the end of 2011, dental programs from selected schools across the nation will be able to offer hands-on training with some of the most advanced technology in the industry. 3M Community Giving, the charitable giving arm of 3M, has announced the donation of Lava Chairside Oral Scanner C.O.S. impression-taking systems as part of its goal to advance academic excellence in higher education. The donation includes support from 3M’s dental division, 3M ESPE, to integrate the technology into dental schools. Dental schools selected will meet several criteria, including number of students, proximity to 3M facilities, and demonstrated capability to integrate digital dentistry into their curriculums. “Digital-related products are expected to revolutionize the next generation of dentistry, making it essential that students receive training to ensure that they are properly prepared to enter the marketplace,” said Ian Hardgrove, senior vice president of marketing and sales and president of the 3M Corporate Giving Committee. “Connecting universities with the desire to offer cutting edge technologies with the worldwide leader of dental innovations was a natural fit given our organizational goal of preparing students for future opportunities and 3M ESPE’s commitment to transform the dental industry. The Lava C.O.S. system will provide the basis for assisting universities to enter the digital age of dentistry.”The Lava C.O.S. is a teaching tool to advance the learning techniques between students and teachers. It is a digital impression-taking system that allows dentists to view continuous 3-D video images captured in a patient’s mouth in real-time on a touch-screen monitor. This real-time visibility allows dentists to confidently assess the data capture before a patient leaves the office. The technology also allows dentists and labs to have the same advanced tools to review cases by knowing that they are seeing the same images. 3M Digital Oral Care provides digital impression systems to University of Michigan School of DentistryDentists using the Lava C.O.S. report increased productivity‚ lower remake rates‚ better patient satisfaction, and more reliable communication with their labs. Having hands-on experience with the system prior to graduation will help graduates transition their preclinical experiences to the patient clinic.3M ESPE will help facilitate the donations to schools that meet the required criteria in order to help ensure that the technology is used to its fullest advantage. “Embracing new technology is a challenge for any organization,” said Larry Lair, president and general manager of 3M ESPE. “3M ESPE is committed to helping 3M Community Giving ensure that selected universities successfully integrate this into their curricula. We are thrilled that they are committed to supporting education and supplying these schools with leading technology.” For more information, visit www.3MESPE.com.To comment on this topic, go to community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/.