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Dentistry entrepreneurial projects featured by U-M's Innovate Blue initiative

Artificial teeth created by Printodontics.

Three School of Dentistry start-ups among 80 highlighted by university

Ann Arbor, Mich., May 26, 2016 -- A School of Dentistry start-up project, Printodontics, is featured in “Made at Michigan,” the inaugural issue of a print magazine that the University of Michigan is publishing annually to highlight student entrepreneurship.  Two other dentistry projects, Digital Face and Victors Open Arms Project, are among the complete list of 80 profiled on the Innovate Blue website.

Printodontics is an initiative born out of the need for artificial teeth that more accurately simulate real teeth.  The artificial teeth that dental students have practiced on for more than a century are made of plastic and don’t offer the layering found in human teeth.  By using engineering and advanced software techniques, the Printodontics team developed 3-dimensional printing software that produces a more realistic training aid for students and enhances the learning process. Team members from the School of Dentistry are Branden M. Welch (D3), project developer; Clinical Professor Dr. Peter Yaman, research mentor and supervisor; and Professor Emeritus Dr. Joseph Dennison, research mentor and supervisor.

Digital Face software provides patient-specific 3-D printed models for better pre-surgical planning, allowing clinicians to utilize MRI, CT or facial scan data to easily create physical models and custom medical devices. The models can be used for demonstration to patients or for surgical planning. The technology helps the surgeon rebuild faces of patients following cancer surgery or physical trauma injuries.  The School of Dentistry leader of the project is Dr. Ivan Chicchon, a prosthodontics resident in the Class of 2016.

The Victors Open Arms Project hosts a student-run, free dental clinic for traumatized young women and foster care children. The clinic partners with Vista Maria, a non-profit organization committed to providing healing and hope to women who have suffered the effects of abuse, neglect and trauma in Detroit and the greater Michigan area.  Dental school team members are Dr. Bartosz Maska (DDS, 2016); Dr. Brian Chang (DDS, 2016); Guneet Kohli (D4); Danielle Dunn (D4); Jomana Shayota (D4); and Katherine Johnson (D4)

Find the dental profiles on the Innovate Blue website here.