Since the inception of student research competition among dental school sponsored by the American Dental Association (beginning in 1959) and the California Dental Association (beginning in 1989), LLU School of dentistry dental students and dental hygiene students have been disproportionately successful in those competitions over the years they have participated.
Collaboration between LLUSD faculty members and their students have led to consequential contributions to the dental profession.
In the early 1960s, a porcelain inlay investment was developed by Dr. Robert Kinzer along with dental students Dean Bonlie, DDS’62, and classmate Kenneth Mertz, DDS‘62. This new material allowed for easier and more accurate fabrication of tooth-colored porcelain fillings.
Gold filings have always been recognized for their outstanding durability. However, clinical procedures utilizing gold were quite time consuming and difficult, thereby limiting their use. A powdered gold material known as Goldent was developed in 1963 by Lloyd Baum, DDS, with the assistance of dental student William Outhwaite, DDS‘65. This innovation enhanced the practicality and cost-effective nature of gold restorations.
In conjunction with the development of Goldent, Dr. Baum and Mr. Outhwaite also developed an electric mallet for direct gold restorations that ultimately was converted to a cordless device.
Two School of Dentistry students, Gary Gregory, DDS’68, and Raymond Rawson, DDS’68, produced the first movie that showed molten gold flowing into a mold. Their research improved the profession's understanding of the casting process that made higher quality restorations possible. These students were guided in this project by Melvin Lund, DDS, then chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry.
In 1958, the first electric dental handpiece was developed by Dr. Baum along with dental students Clelan Ehrler, DDS’68, MS’71, and Laurence Seifert, DDS’68, MS’78. The device functioned as an alternative to the cumbersome belt-driven handpieces in general use at the time.