dental engineering encompasses the technical support needed to perform dentistry, which involves medical procedures aimed at restoring oral health. It is an interdisciplinary branch of technology that fully corresponds to modern trends in industrial development, and it includes material engineering, which involves the study of mechanical properties and processes of materials used in dentistry; production engineering with its focus on assembling, installing and maintaining dental equipment; information and automation technology; and tissue engineering, which concerns the creation of tissues able to replace the tissues damaged by disease or traumatic injury.
The emergence of new technologies in dental science and engineering, such as biomaterials with tunable properties, 3D printing and micro-electromechanical systems, have enabled the creation of innovative instruments, devices and methods for improving the quality of clinical procedures and of dental products. These innovations are designed to reduce the time and effort that dentists have to devote to preparing and carrying out medical procedures, and they also allow patients to receive treatment in an increasingly efficient manner.
The Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD) unites dental and engineering experts, resources and facilities to promote cross-disciplinary research, training the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs dedicated to affordable oral health care innovations. CiPD supports a number of fellowships for students to engage in dental medicine-engineering collaborations, including mRNA/drug delivery, organ-on-a-chip and advanced materials. These research efforts are geared toward developing new diagnostics, preventive approaches and affordable therapies for oral diseases such as periodontal disease, caries, and cancer.