The College of Dentistry dedicated the state-of-the-science ProCare Dental Group Implant and Innovations Center and the DENTSPLY Implants Clinic on April 8.
Located on the third floor of the College, the 5,900 square-foot facility features the eight-operatory DENSTPLY Implants Clinic and four private surgical suites dedicated to aspects of implant therapy, model classroom space with the latest audiovisual technology, and a total digital radiology platform that includes 3-D imaging and digital radiography. It allows state-of-the-science implant education and brings the most modern oral health technologies to all of the College's students and helps makes implant and technologically based therapies affordable to underserved patients.A $3 million project, the facility was funded by gifts from ProCare Dental Group PC, led by its President and CEO, Dr. Robert G. Brunetti and by DENTSPLY Implants. The Guy D. and Rebecca E. Brunetti Foundation also provided generous support to assist with construction, a matching gift to endow a professorship funding the Director of the Implant and Innovations Center, and a gift of KaVo Group dental equipment and technology.
Dean Bruce Graham welcomed guests and explained the history of the gifts that made the facility possible and the Vision that the College's donors shared to make the facility a reality.
Dr. Graham noted that several years ago, the College received a significant gift from DENTSPLY Implants to introduce dental implants into the DDS/DMD curriculum. "We quickly realized that we also needed a dedicated facility in which to teach students implant dentistry and to provide implant care to patients," Dr. Graham said.
Dean Graham and Mark Valentino, Assistant Dean for Advancement and Alumni Affairs, then reached out to Dr. Brunetti, and he and ProCare provided the College with a $1 million Brilliant Futures Campaign gift for the facility. The Brunetti Foundation, which Dr. Brunetti serves as President, contributed to the facility as well, "providing $500,000 in support to construct the center and a matching gift to endow a professorship, funding the Director of the Implant and Innovations Center," Dr. Graham noted.
In addition, the Brunetti Foundation, working with The KaVo Group, provided a six-figure gift of KaVo Group technology to equip the center and clinic, "as part of the foundation's focus on helping the College transform all of its clinical areas," Dr. Graham said.
University of Illinois President Dr. Robert Easter then spoke about the importance of private giving.
"The margin of excellence in this University is provided by our donors," President Easter said.
UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares discussed the pathbreaking technology in the facility.
"The new center and clinic positions us at the very vanguard of innovative developments in education, treatment, research, and technological advances in the clinical practice of dentistry," she said.
F. Daniel Cantrell, District Director for the Office of Congressman Danny K. Davis, was the next speaker, expressing the feelings of Congressman Davis on how the College and the new facility focus on society's most vulnerable.
"I know that the College has taken special aim at eliminating the disparities in access to oral healthcare that exist in Illinois and across the United States," Cantrell said. "The College has taken the lead in integrating rapidly changing technology into the practice of dentistry for the good of all society, but particularly for the underserved."
Scott Root, President of DENTSPLY Implants North America, said, "As a company who values quality education for the optimized care of dental implant patients, we are honored to support the mission of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. The establishment of the ProCare Dental Group Implant and Innovations Center and the DENTSPLY Implants Clinic is a wonderful initiative that supports multi-disciplinary dental implant education and high quality patient care."
Dr. Brunetti said, "Our desire to support the development of the ProCare Dental Implant and Innovations Center stems from a shared Vision with the College, which is to advance our profession and the development of a new generation of dentists, the 'New Dentists for America,'" Dr. Brunetti said.
Dr. Stephen Campbell, Head of the Department of Restorative Dentistry and the Advanced Prosthodontics Program, said, "Our goal was to create a model program that would serve as a model nationally of best practice of implant care, as well as the technological advances and innovations into a dental school environment. "We knew it was the right thing to do to prepare our students to provide the best care possible," he said. "And the care we provide here in the College certainly is reflective of best practices. We're bringing state-of-the-science implant dentistry to every dental student in this building, and for their entire professional careers. Just as important is our effort to continue to advance total digital solutions and provide real innovations to dental education and patient care.
"We believe we can be the most influential academic oral health center," Dr. Campbell concluded.