Dental Advanced Simulation Hub

In the Dental Advanced Simulation Lab – the DASH – students are immersed in a state-of-the-art learning environment that emphasizes collaboration at every level and prepares them for a comprehensive patient care experience. 

The DASH Difference

Historically, dental simulation laboratories have focused on hand skills acquisition. The unique learning opportunities provided in the DASH pair these technical skills with critical thinking and emotional intelligence to better prepare students for real-world scenarios. This includes not only the initial treatment which needs to be completed, but also the patient interactions, future treatment planning and phasing, difficult conversations, emergent situations and more. 

student and faculty in dental simulation hub

Preparing for Practice

In the DASH, students learn how to provide exemplary dental care within different practice modalities and in a team setting. Each pod of workstations represents a dental practice, where students take on the role of professional colleagues. Each patient within the pod not only has a dental student who is responsible for their care longitudinally over a four-year period, but each student is responsible for supporting their peers in patient care across their pod. 

With the opportunity to provide simulated care over the course of the curriculum, the following components of dental care can be highlighted: 

  • Establishment of patient care while building cultural competence in a diverse patient population;  
  • Review of social, medical and oral health history of the patient;  
  • Dental examination, risk assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning;  
  • Treatment implementation for disease control, tooth restoration and oral health maintenance;  
  • Emergency treatment (and handling of emergency situations) including endodontic procedures and managing patient anxiety;  
  • Tooth surface digital impression taking for production of tooth-colored restorations using digital dentistry technology;  
  • Tooth replacement with 3D printing;  
  • And so much more. 
Patient avatar in dental clinic

Meet the Avatars

Bringing the individual workstations to life are our simulated patients – a group of 120 unique avatars with diverse backgrounds, personalities, medical histories and dental needs. These complex human dynamics enable students to practice the holistic skills of dentistry—behavioral psychology, public health, critical thinking, medical ethics—well before they encounter live patients. 

Future-Ready Learning

Digital dentistry is an important part of the DASH as we incorporate cutting-edge technologies into the curriculum. Students will gain invaluable experience working with digital scanners, milling machines and 3D printing all in one place. All computers in the DASH have digital design software to go along with these digital dentistry technologies, which are the same as those in clinical care settings. 

Dental milling machine

“We are known for advancing new technologies that have the potential to enhance educational experiences, expand access and ultimately improve patient outcomes. The DASH is the latest manifestation of that school-wide commitment.”

- Dean Denise Kassebaum, DDS, MS

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