The Orange Practice at UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry has been named the 2022-23 Digital Dentistry Practice of the Year.
The Digital Dentistry Practice of the Year is awarded to the group practice that completes the highest number of computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) cases during the academic year. The winner is calculated based on the average number of cases done by third and fourth-year students in each practice. CAD/CAM software is used to digitally scan, design, and generate dental restorations such as crowns and bridges.
Dental students in the Orange Practice averaged 2.5 restorations per student during the 2022-23 academic year to reclaim the digital dentistry title. “Orange Nation” has won the crown three of the four years since the award’s inception during the 2019-20 academic year.
School of Dentistry clinics, which encompasses all five group practices, advanced education programs, and UT Dentists, combined to complete over 470 digitally generated restorations in 2022-23. Orange practice completed 116 fixed restorations, accounting for 25% of all restorations.
Director of Digital Dentistry Michelle Thompson, DDS, and Trish Jones, RDH, BSc, a representative of Ivoclar, presented the trophy to Orange Practice in a midday celebration Nov. 16 in the courtyard of the Denton A. Cooley, MD, and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS, University Life Center. Ivoclar also provided lunch and cake for the winning group practice and attendees who support the digital dentistry efforts of the School of Dentistry.
Orange Practice is under the direction of Stephen Laman, DDS; first attending Vinu Taneja Sista, DDS; and second attending J. Robert “Bob” Stephen, DDS.
“They hand me the trophy, but I’m just a little part of the deal,” said Laman. “My first attending and second attending do just as much as I do, and I’m grateful to have them on my teaching team.
“As leaders in digital dentistry, we put the ‘pressure’ on our students to become competent and skillful in digital dentistry. It can be somewhat nerve-wracking when you start, and with anything there’s trepidation about doing something new, but we keep behind them and support them. Once they get the hang of it and see the benefits of digital dentistry, not just for them but the high-quality care we can provide our patients, it sells itself.”
The trophy will reside in the Orange Practice alcove on the second floor for the remainder of the 2023-24 academic year.
Ivoclar has served as the sponsor of the School of Dentistry Digital Dentistry Practice of the Year award since its inception.
“Our congratulations from Ivoclar to the Orange Practice, it’s well earned.” Jones said. “It’s a privilege to have our materials used to care for patients seen by students at UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry, and we are grateful that you trust in our product that will ultimately make a positive difference in someone’s life.”
The positive impact is been to the benefit of the students, too, Thompson notes. “The students become more confident in completing restorations, and their overall quality of their work has improved as well.”
Thompson created the award in the fall of 2019 as a friendly competition between the faculty and students of the five group practices to encourage them to utilize CAD/CAM technology to more efficiently care for patients.
Digital Dentistry Practice of the Year
2022-23: Orange Practice
2021-22: Red Practice
2020-21: Orange Practice
2019-20: Orange Practice