Digital Fellowship

 

Digital Dentistry: The Future of Dental Care

The Digital Dentistry Fellowship, with its distinct Academic and Private Practice tracks, is poised to shape the future of dental care by equipping professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge, and research experience in digital dentistry.

Fellows will benefit from access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and resources at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. The program will contribute to advancements in patient care, foster collaboration between academia and private practice, and promote the adoption and growth of digital dentistry in the field.

Program and Track Overview
Faculty
Application
Tuition
Syllabus

Digital Dentistry Fellowship Overview

This advanced education program aims to produce highly trained dentists who can expertly integrate digital technologies into their practice or academic roles. It encompasses a comprehensive curriculum, including on-site learning workshops, online seminars, group work, mentoring, and site visits.
Fellowships can be full-time or part-time.

For a full-time position, the program duration is 12 months. The schedule will include two days per week for patient care, two days per week for predoctoral teaching, and one day per week dedicated to developing your fellowship project at MUSC’s James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine.

For a part-time position, the program duration is 24 months and fellows will complete their project at their home institution.

Fellowship Tracks

The fellowship program offers two tracks: the Academic Track and the Private Practice Track. The establishment of fellowship tracks recognizes the diverse career aspirations and goals of dental professionals and tailors the curriculum to meet their specific needs.

Both tracks will require fellows to present their findings and outcomes throughout the fellowship, contributing to group discussions, seminars, and workshops. The final thesis will focus on the implementation of digital dentistry technologies within their respective track settings. Fellows will have the opportunity to defend their thesis, showcasing their expertise and readiness to advance the field of digital dentistry.

Academic Track

The Academic track is designed for dental professionals interested in pursuing a career in academia or research. Fellows in this track gain expertise in digital dentistry and develop teaching and research skills. The curriculum focuses on advanced digital workflows, research methodologies, and academic responsibilities. Fellows have opportunities to collaborate with faculty members, engage in research projects, and contribute to the scientific community.

Private Practice Track

The Private Practice track caters to dental professionals seeking to enhance their clinical skills and integrate digital dentistry into their private practices. The curriculum emphasizes practical implementation, covering topics such as CAD/CAM one day dentistry, implant treatment planning and 3D printing, digital complete dentures, zirconia prosthesis fabrication, and establishment of institution workflows. Fellows in this track receive hands-on training and mentoring to optimize their clinical workflows and improve patient outcomes.

Faculty

Course Director: Sompop Bencharit, DDS, MS, PhD, FACP
Professor and Chair, Department of Reconstructive and Rehabilitation Sciences
Assistant Dean for Innovation, Office of Oral Health Innovation
Office phone: 843-792-1289
Email: benchari@musc.edu
173 Ashley Avenue, BSB 335
Charleston, SC 29425

Course Co-Director: Christian Brenes, DDS, MS
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director for Digital Dentistry Residency
Department of Advanced Specialty Sciences
Office phone: 843-792-1289
Email: brenes@musc.edu
173 Ashley Avenue, BSB 335
Charleston, SC 29425

Apply to the Digital Dentistry Fellowship

Please contact the program director with questions regarding eligibility and qualifications.

Application Process

Coming soon: The application cycle opens in the winter of 2023.

Application closes: The due date for submitting applications is January 31 of the following year.

Application review: Once the application deadline has passed, the fellowship committee will review all complete applications. Applicants will be assessed based on their qualifications, experience, dedication to digital dentistry, and potential contributions to the fellowship program.

Interview period: Shortlisted candidates may be invited for an interview between October 1 and March 31. The interview will be conducted remotely to accommodate candidates from different locations.

On-site visit (Encouraged): After the remote interview, successful candidates are encouraged to visit the Digital Dentistry Fellowship program. The on-site visit will provide applicants with an opportunity to experience the program's environment, and facilities, and interact with faculty and current fellows.

Acceptance and Enrollment: Successful applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the Digital Dentistry Fellowship. Upon acceptance, candidates will be required to confirm their enrollment and submit the program tuition fee as per the provided instructions. Please note that the application process is competitive, and the fellowship committee will carefully review each application. Applicants are encouraged to submit all required documents accurately and to adhere to the application deadlines. The committee aims to select candidates who demonstrate a genuine passion for digital dentistry and the drive to excel in the field.

Start term: Enrolled fellows begin their program on July 1.

Additional required application materials

Application fee: Interested candidates are required to submit a completed application form along with a non-refundable application fee of $300. Please note that the application will only be considered complete once the fee has been received.

The check may be made payable to the Medical University of South Carolina and can be sent to:

Ms. Andrea Danner, Administrative Coordinator 
MUSC James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, Department of Reconstructive and Rehabilitation Sciences
173 Ashley Avenue, BSB 550, MSC 507
Charleston, SC 29425
Phone: 843-792-7185
Email: dannera@musc.edu

Cover letter: Applicants must include a comprehensive cover letter detailing their interest in the Digital Dentistry Fellowship. The cover letter should provide an overview of the applicant's educational background, professional experience, and reasons for applying to the fellowship. Candidates are encouraged to highlight their passion for digital dentistry, career goals, and how they plan to utilize the skills acquired during the fellowship to enhance their dental practice or academic pursuits.

Curriculum vitae (CV): Candidates are required to submit an updated CV that includes their educational qualifications, relevant certifications, professional experiences, and any other pertinent information related to their dental career.

Supporting letter from applicant's institution (Recommended): While not mandatory, applicants are encouraged to provide a supporting letter from their institution, endorsing their participation in the Digital Dentistry Fellowship. This letter should outline the institution's acknowledgment of the applicant's commitment to the fellowship and support for their professional development in the field of digital dentistry.

Applicant Qualifications

To be eligible for the Digital Dentistry Fellowship, applicants should possess the following qualifications:

Advanced clinical postgraduate training: Fellows should have completed postgraduate clinical training, such as advanced degrees in prosthodontics, advanced education in general dentistry, or a general dentistry residency. This ensures a strong foundation in the principles and practices of prosthodontics, serving as a valuable basis for integrating digital dentistry technologies. While certain surgical specialties like periodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgery may be considered, priority will be given to individuals with a strong foundation in restorative and prosthodontic sciences. Special consideration will be given to faculty members sponsored by a dental school.

Dental professional qualification: Fellows should hold a recognized dental professional qualification, such as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree or equivalent. This ensures that fellows have a comprehensive understanding of oral health, dental anatomy, clinical procedures, and prosthetic fabrication processes. Full-time fellows must have completed ADA-accredited clinical training. International candidates are eligible for the part-time program only.

Experience in private or academic practice or equivalent: Fellows should have practical experience, including diagnosis, treatment planning, and fabrication and insertion of prostheses. Experience in complex prosthodontic cases, implant restorations, and complete dentures will be beneficial for integrating digital dentistry techniques.

Proficiency in digital dentistry: Fellows should demonstrate a strong interest and understanding of digital dentistry concepts and technologies. Familiarity with intraoral scanning, CAD/CAM systems, and digital prosthesis design and fabrication is highly desirable. Previous training or experience in digital dentistry workflows and technologies will be advantageous.

Research aptitude: Fellows should have a keen interest in research and scholarly activities related to digital dentistry. Experience in conducting research, literature review, data analysis, and scientific writing will be beneficial for contributing to the research component of the fellowship.

Strong communication and collaboration skills: Fellows should possess excellent communication skills to effectively interact with faculty members, mentors, peers, and patients. The ability to work collaboratively in a team environment is crucial, as the fellowship program will involve group work, discussions, and interactions with interdisciplinary professionals.

Tuition

It is important for applicants to carefully consider their financial capabilities and commitments before choosing between the full-time and part-time fellowship options. The tuition structure ensures that both full-time and part-time fellows receive access to the same high-quality education and resources in digital dentistry.

Full-Time Fellowship
Tuition: $50,000
Stipend: $20,000 (This is an estimate based on a two-day instructor-based salary.)

Full-time fellows receive a stipend as part of their teaching, to support their living expenses and offset some of the costs associated with participating in the fellowship. Full-time fellows are expected to obtain an instructor license to be eligible to practice in the state of South Carolina.

Part-Time Fellowship
Tuition: $50,000
Stipend: No stipend provided

Part-time fellows are expected to cover their own living expenses and any additional costs associated with their participation in the fellowship program.

Digital Dentistry Fellowship Syllabus

Fellows are expected to complete the following modules.

Module 1: Introduction to Digital Dentistry and Intraoral Scanning
Introduction to digital dentistry and its applications
Principles of intraoral scanning and digital impressions
Comparison of intraoral scanning systems and technologies
Hands-on training in intraoral scanning techniques
Integration of intraoral scans into digital workflows

Module 2: CAD/CAM Systems and Single-Tooth Restorations
Overview of CAD/CAM systems in dentistry
Digital design and fabrication of single-tooth restorations
Materials selection and considerations for CAD/CAM restorations
Hands-on training in CAD software for single-tooth restorations
Clinical case studies and treatment planning for single-tooth restorations

Module 3: Implant Treatment Planning and 3D Printing
Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging and interpretation
Virtual surgical planning for implant placement
Integration of intraoral scanning with implant planning software
3D printing techniques for surgical guides and implant models
Hands-on experience with 3D printers for implant-related applications

Module 4: Digital Complete Dentures
Digital workflow for complete dentures: from impression to final prosthesis
Digitally capturing edentulous arches using intraoral scanners
Computer-aided design of complete dentures
Virtual articulation and occlusion in digital denture design
3D printing or milling of complete denture bases and teeth

Module 5: Zirconia Prosthesis Fabrication
Introduction to zirconia as a restorative material in dentistry
Optical scanning of prepared teeth and design of zirconia restorations
Sintering and milling techniques for zirconia restorations
Layering techniques and customization of zirconia restorations
Esthetic considerations and shade matching in zirconia prosthesis fabrication

Module 6: Establishing Digital Workflows in Clinical Practice
Integration of digital technologies into clinical workflows
Workflow management and communication with dental team members
Quality control and assurance in digital dentistry processes
Implementing standardized protocols for efficient and effective workflows
Evaluation and improvement of digital workflows in the dental practice

Module 7: Research Methods in Digital Dentistry
Introduction to research methodologies and study designs
Data collection and analysis in digital dentistry research
Literature review and critical appraisal of scientific papers
Ethical considerations in research involving digital dentistry
Development and presentation of research proposals

Module 8: Advanced Topics and Emerging Technologies in Digital Dentistry
Exploration of advanced topics and emerging technologies in digital dentistry
Discussion of current research and developments in the field
Guest lectures by experts in digital dentistry
Integration of new technologies into clinical practice
Future trends and directions in digital dentistry

The Digital Dentistry Fellowship program aims to equip fellows with mastery in each module and the ability to implement the acquired knowledge into their practice or clinical institution. The implementation plan for the first five modules, each module consecutively, will be presented to the faculty before progressing to the following module. As part of Module 6 and 7, fellows will present the implementation plans and outcome measures for all five digital dentistry modules and workflows as their capstone project. The success of the full implementation of the digital workflow will be showcased during Module 8, marking a significant part of the fellowship.

Please note that the syllabus provided is a general outline and may undergo adjustments and customization based on the specific resources, expertise, and goals of the Digital Dentistry Fellowship program. The implementation of the syllabus will follow a progressive approach, ensuring comprehensive understanding of digital dentistry concepts and hands-on experience throughout the fellowship duration.