Alabama-based Oral Arts Dental Laboratories' longstanding relationship with the UAB School of Dentistry (SOD) began in the late 1970s. For more than 25 years, Thomas Winstead, president and CEO of Oral Arts, has been a supporter of the school. His son Matt, the company's vice president, plans to continue that beneficial partnership. "We're very happy that we've had an uninterrupted relationship with the UABSOD for so long," he says. "We have become a better company through working with the school's top-notch professors and clinicians."
Oral Arts, on numerous occasions, has donated special equipment to the SOD and helped arrange important educational events that benefit both students and alumni. Last year, Michael Reddy, D.M.D., dean of the school, contacted the company to see if there was interest in a naming opportunity to fund renovations for the third-floor student laboratory, in addition to the funds the school has received through the class-reunion giving program.
"Since we are a dental lab, it seemed like a good fit to have our name on the school's lab," Matt Winstead says. "It also was a good fit because Dr. Reddy recognizes that the future of dentistry lies in technology. Oral Arts understands that, too, and we have completely transformed our entire production operation to digital technology, which is what Dr. Reddy envisioned for the new lab facility. We wanted to be a part of that."
The digital equipment Oral Arts has donated to the third-floor lab will provide students with access to the latest dental technology. "Dr. Reddy wants students to grasp the fundamentals of the newest technology that's available--technology that many other schools don't have access to--and be able to use it in their future practices." The equipment includes digital applications such as CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) software for milling dental prostheses and completing restorations.
Oral Arts is heavily involved in CAD/CAM technology and wants to be a company that students recognize and feel comfortable using. "We appreciate that today's students are tomorrow's practicing dentists and, therefore, the future of our industry," Matt Winstead says.
The company is headquartered in Huntsville, with facilities in Mobile and in Knoxville, Tennessee. "We have all of the products dentists need to establish and maintain their practices," Matt Winstead says, "and it's all American-made."
For more information about giving to the School of Dentistry, visit www.uab.edu/dentistry/.