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Dental School Announces New Department of Diagnostic Sciences

Creighton University School of Dentistry will open a new department with the start of summer clinic on Monday, May 13. The Department of Diagnostic Sciences, chaired by John Shaner, DMD, MS, associate professor of general dentistry and director of clinical teams, aims to improve the educational experience for students and increase clinical efficiencies in the school?s clinic.

"The formation of this department is a reflection of the growing importance of new technologies available in dentistry to aid in diagnosis," said Mark Latta, DMD, MS, dean of the dental school and professor of general dentistry.

The Department of Diagnostic Sciences will focus on the accurate identification of head and neck pathology for patients in the dental clinic, including oral cancer screening, medical risk assessments and the development of a comprehensive treatment plan. Faculty and staff members have specialty training and clinical expertise in oral diagnosis and treatment planning, oral and maxillofacial pathology and oral and maxillofacial radiology.

"An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan impacts all of the dental school?s other clinical departments," said Shaner. "Having these functions operate at the departmental level allows for better planning and coordination with departments and improved management of students and their patients."

In support of the new department, the School of Dentistry is creating a Maxillofacial Imaging Center which will consolidate the clinic's two Cone-Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT) units, an advanced form of digital dental radiography, to better support dental school patients and an increasing number of outside dental office referrals. The school will also open an Oral Pathology Consultant office to provide easier access for oral pathology consults and install another intraoral radiographic unit and chair to improve access for radiographs.

"We are committed to achieving the best educational environment for our students by maximizing their clinical experiences while providing excellent care for our patients and service to the citizens of our community. Our focus on care and education will be enhanced by this new department structure," said Latta.