Biodontics is a type of dentistry that was founded in the U.S. in 2001 and is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The aim of Biodontics is to increase the research capacity, skills, and entrepreneurship potential of the dental profession. Traditional models of dental education undergo consistent revision, and newer models, along with advances in technology, have rendered many traditional dental education models obsolete. In the mid-1990s, an evaluation by the Institute of Medicine determined that dental schools must strive to maintain productivity and credentials by encouraging continued training for educators and allied dental personnel; this evaluation was the result of the recent closure of several dental schools and was in response to criticisms about the inefficiency of the existing dental school educational model. The Institute of Medicine also recommended a revision to the accreditation process for dental school.
In 2002, the NIDCR began funding experimental dental education programs throughout the U.S., including the Biodontics Educational Program. Every year, in July, the Biodontics Educational Program provides training to support students from existing dental programs, including those at the University of Connecticut, Howard University, Marquette University, and New York University. The program is hosted by the University of Connecticut. This training includes presentations and seminars with leaders in business and entrepreneurship, scientists, dental manufacturers, and architects. The program is intended to immerse dental students in all possible aspects of business ownership and management while also encouraging them to remain aware of technological innovations as they arise, increasing the relevance and success of their dental practices. With this in mind, the program also introduces dental students to the newest technologies and medical advances.
In 2005, the American Biodontics Society was formed, intending to promote the expansion of the dental profession while encouraging dental professionals to keep abreast of new dental procedures and technologies. The overarching goal of the American Biodontics Society is to increase oral health in the United States and to provide greater accessibility to excellent dental care for the public. The Society encourages the discussion and evaluation of all innovations in dentistry and publishes an official publication called “Dental Hypotheses.”
Biodontics actively promotes and supports the adoption of innovations by people in the dental professions. By focusing on educating dental students, specifically, the Biodontics Educational Program helps young dentists become early adopters of technical and medical innovations in the dental field, allowing dental offices to be more effective, thereby enhancing public access to excellent oral health care. The Biodontics Educational Program focuses on two commonly asked questions: first, why is the first generation of dental products so expensive; and second, what are the benefits of adopting these products early on. To address cost, the Biodontics Education Program invites dental entrepreneurs, including directors of research and development, to discuss the processes involved with inventing, licensing, and promoting new dental technologies and products. To address the value of innovations, the Biodontics Education Program provides presentations from early adopters as well as managers, office architects and designers, and experts in marketing and sales. These discussions focus on cost-effective ways to adopt and promote technologies and innovations while maintaining and enhancing patient comfort and satisfaction, and they include tours of innovative dental practices and direct interaction with experts in the various fields.