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Covid-19 Isn’t Keeping Americans from the Dentist, Survey Reveals

Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Nearly 90% of respondents to a new survey by, a leading online marketplace for dental savings plans, said they will go to the dentist despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as long as safety precautions are in place. Of those respondents, all of whom are current plan members, many have already booked appointments for basic care or are planning to see a dentist soon. Only 5% plan to wait until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.

Survey respondents agreed that frequent sanitation/disinfecting throughout a dental practice, knowing exactly what the office is doing to keep patients safe in advance, and requiring dental staff and patients to wear masks would significantly increase their confidence in getting preventive dental care such as checkups and cleanings right now.

But 72% of those polled said they’d only go to a dentist they’d already seen and trust right now. And the majority (73%) of respondents want dentists to share information about their COVID-19 infection control processes prior to an appointment.

All survey respondents are members of a dental savings plan which provides them with discounts on dental and other healthcare services and helps lessen the concern regarding cost of care. However, one analysis by an international actuarial and consulting firm anticipates a 34% reduction in dental insurance claims this year.

“While it’s great that plan members are ready to get back to their routine care, there’s concern for those who are left without insurance as a results of job loss or reduced benefits at work,” said Jenn Stoll, Chief Commercial Officer at “We are likely to see an uptick in postponing essential dental care due to cost, meaning now, more than ever, Americans need affordable options for dental care.”

Medical studies indicate that untreated oral disease may contribute to various health conditions, including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. This, combined with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warning that underlying heath conditions such as these significantly increase the severity of COVID-19, reinforce the importance of’s mission to make dental care affordable for more Americans.

Find out more about dental savings plans at

About, founded in 1999, is a leading online marketplace in the U.S. for dental and health savings plans, helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives.


Florida Governor Signs Authorization for Chairside Services

Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

On Monday, June 29, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law legislation that provides the authorization of dental laboratory technicians to be onsite for chairside services during dental procedures. The signing of House Bill 713 is the first language of its kind in the US and takes into account that dentists are seeking the dental laboratory technician to be onsite for complex cases such as full mouth reconstructions and training of intraoral scanning systems, etc. Changes are to take effect July 1, 2020.

"This is great news for dental laboratories and dental technicians in Florida," said FDLA President Alexander Wünsche, CDT, of Zahntechnique in Miami, Florida. "As our industry has modernized over the years, keeping up with technology and new industries, the protections for dental laboratories have not always been in place. These changes will allow us to provide the services and training requested by our dental colleagues and as a team continue to provide the highest level of dental care to the patients we serve. We are grateful to both Senator Harrell and Representative Rodriguez for recognizing that our industry needed these updates to best serve and support the dental industry in Florida. We hope that Florida's efforts will provide a blueprint for other state dental practice acts to follow."

Glidewell Publishes Recovery-Focused Edition of Chairside® Magazine Online

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2020

The new, all-digital issue encompasses business advice, digital dentistry, esthetic techniques and dental sleep medicine

A special, all-digital edition of Chairside® magazine is now available at, the latest in an array of COVID-19–specific resources from Glidewell. Dentists can benefit from timely takeaways in this special edition, which features experts’ insights on business success, digital dentistry, continuing education, esthetic techniques and dental sleep medicine.

“These past few months have brought hardships, and we know more will be demanded of us,” President and CEO Jim Glidewell, CDT, said. “But this experience has also shown us dentists’ resilience and compassion. Clinicians and their teams have continued to treat patients, safely and responsibly. They meet each day’s challenges with commitment and courage. This special Chairside edition is about making dentistry more accessible and affordable in the months ahead.”

As part of his publisher’s message in this edition, Jim Glidewell also describes his personal battle with COVID-19, which he survived after 12 days in the hospital.

In sharing his story, he writes, “We all get only so much time. Our legacies are determined by how we spend it. I’m grateful to the dedicated health care providers who were there to aid me, and I’m continually inspired by those of you who’ve similarly committed your professional lives to serving the health and well-being of others.”

The new issue arrives as practitioners are well into the recovery phase of the coronavirus pandemic, with close to 90% of dental offices now offering the full range of clinical services. To continue this crucial upswing, dentists can turn to the business advice of Chairside contributor Dr. Roger Levin, who shares 20 actionable strategies to prosper during the recovery. His article addresses finance, communication with patients and employee management, among other topics.

Readers also can learn about the growing relevance of digital dentistry in the post-COVID–19 era.

In one article, Dr. Cary LaCouture, a Colorado-based practitioner, gives his take on the™ In-Office Solution, heralded as the simplest way for dentists to scan, mill and deliver chairside restorations in a single visit.

“In terms of treatment acceptance, I’ve seen firsthand that patients want the convenience of single-visit restorations, especially now,” Dr. LaCouture said. “So having the technology to take care of their smiles in just one appointment has been a huge differentiator for my two practices.”

For clinical techniques, practitioners can benefit from all-new Chairside articles on esthetic dentistry and dental sleep medicine. And they can read about the origins of the free Glidewell Online Study Club, through which members can access weekly, action-packed webinars, dental CE courses, and more.

One of the study club’s most familiar faces is Dr. Neil Park, vice president of clinical affairs at Glidewell and editor in chief of Chairside magazine. He moderates the weekly webinars, drawing upon his vast experience overseeing hundreds of successful live courses and symposia, as well as the magazine.

“If there is one thing that I believe can really advance dentists’ business recovery efforts, it is education,” Dr. Park said. “That is why I am leading the clinical affairs team in providing the Glidewell Online Study Club, the successor to our daily Special COVID-19 Crisis Webinar Series, which garnered a total enrollment of over 50,000 this past spring. And practical, of-the-moment education is at the heart of this new, special edition of Chairside magazine.”

About Glidewell

Glidewell is among the world’s largest providers of custom restorative services and is recognized as an industry-leading materials and devices manufacturer. Established in 1970 in Orange County, California, Glidewell continues to build on its storied history of technological innovation, continuing education and a commitment to making comprehensive, high-quality treatment more accessible to patients in the U.S. and internationally.

AAPD, AAPD Foundation, and Henry Schein to Help Enhance Access to Dental Care for Children by Providing PPE to AAPD Members

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2020

In the largest single commitment in its 33-year history, the AAPD Foundation has allocated up to $1.6 million to provide all AAPD members with one 50-count box supply of KN95 masks, in a joint collaboration between the Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. As part of Henry Schein, Inc.’s commitment to help enhance access to care for vulnerable populations, including children, Henry Schein is providing these masks to the AAPD Foundation at its cost of acquisition and distribution.

“Personal protection equipment [PPE] availability should not be a barrier to child dental care,” said AAPD President Dr. Jessica Lee. “We are grateful to Henry Schein for helping make these masks available to our members, without financial gain, and to the Foundation for underwriting this important access to care effort.”

The AAPD Foundation’s provision of critical PPE for AAPD members is an extension of its access-to-care mission. The AAPD Foundation is purchasing the KN95 masks, including paying sales tax and shipping; the AAPD is handling the ordering logistics for its members; and Henry Schein is leveraging its supply chain network to provide implementation assistance at its cost.

“As practices open across the country, the Academy and Foundation want to make sure there are as few delays as possible in children receiving the care they need,” said Foundation President Dr. Charles Czerepak. “Henry Schein’s quick response to offer essential supplies will help prevent disruptions in patient care that can help prevent treatable cases from turning into emergencies.”

While manufacturers, suppliers and distributors face unprecedented demand, coupled with supply chain gaps worldwide, Henry Schein understood the Academy member’s front-line role in providing care to our nation’s children and the need to ensure this workforce’s protection.

“We are privileged that the Academy and Foundation approached us for assistance in securing PPE for its membership and administering this important project,” said AJ Caffentzis, President, U.S. Dental Distribution. “As part of Henry Schein’s dedication to ‘helping health happen,’ we recognize pediatric dentists’ critical public health role, and welcome the opportunity to contribute towards supporting these essential providers who ensure the oral health and overall welfare of our children.”

This collaboration is part of the Academy’s broader effort to provide resources to ensure practice readiness and safe, comprehensive care. The Academy in April released a guide for re-opening practices and it continues its work with local, state and federal government agencies to ensure they recognize children’s oral health care as essential health care.

“Our members are valuable community child advocates who not only provide quality dental care, but can help test for and prevent the future spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases,” Dr. Lee said.

In addition to access to KN95 masks, the Foundation’s $1.6 million commitment will help fund the development of a public education campaign emphasizing dental office safety, and help raise awareness about the importance of access to oral health care for children. The campaign will feature social media, direct-to-consumer outreach, and materials for member use in their practices.

“Henry Schein was moved by the bold action of the Academy and the Foundation to help its membership in these turbulent times, and we are honored to reciprocate in support of pediatric dentists, the children they serve, and our wider communities,” said Mr. Caffentzis.

“The receptiveness and enthusiasm of the Henry Schein team has been tremendous,” said Academy and Foundation CEO Dr. John Rutkauskas. “They went the extra mile to help us ensure dentists treating kids will have KN95 masks available to them as they re-open their practices."

About the AAPD

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, founded in 1947, is the not-for-profit professional membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Its 10,800 members put children first in everything they do, and at the highest standards of ethics and patient safety. Pediatric dentists provide care to millions of our nation’s infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs, and are the primary contributors to professional education programs and publications on pediatric oral health.

The AAPD, in accordance with its vision and mission, advocates optimal oral health for all children. It is the leading national advocate dedicated exclusively to children’s oral health.

About the AAPD Foundation

The AAPD Foundation is the charitable arm of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the nation’s leading association of dental specialists committed to optimal oral health for all children. The Foundation supports community-based initiatives providing Dental Homes to children from families that cannot afford dental care. Since 2010, we have issued more than $6 million in grants and commitments to more than 120 organizations in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Foundation grantees have helped provide Dental Homes to more than 550,000 children.

About Henry Schein

Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC) is a solutions company for health care professionals powered by a network of people and technology. With more than 19,000  Team Schein Members worldwide, the Company's network of trusted advisors provides more than 1 million customers globally with more than 300 valued solutions that improve operational success and clinical outcomes. Our Business, Clinical, Technology, and Supply Chain solutions help office-based dental and  medical practitioners work more efficiently so they can provide quality care more effectively. These solutions also support  dental laboratories,  government and institutional healthcare clinics, as well as other alternate care sites.

For more information, visit Henry Schein at,, and  @HenrySchein on Twitter.

ProSites’ PracticeMojo Introduces Online Patient Forms and Phone Call Integration to Enhance Dental Patient Engagement

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2020

ProSites’ PracticeMojo, an automated patient reminder, recall and patient communications platform has launched new integrated features to help dentists better communicate with their patients and improve office efficiency.

The solution comes at a pivotal time for dental practices, who must incorporate digital solutions to care for patients and protect patients and staff. PracticeMojo’s new Managed Plan allows dentists to provide patients with HIPAA compliant online patient forms and COVID-19 questionnaire - to eliminate the need for patients to complete in the waiting room. Additionally, PracticeMojo Managed includes phone call integration, so dental staff can see important information about a patient when they call. This saves time for the office and improves the patient experience.

"The PracticeMojo Managed Plan allows dentists to care for their patients virtually while protecting the safety of patients and staff post COVID-19. " said ProSites VP of Products, Keith Washington. "We are excited to be able to offer this comprehensive technology solution for dental professionals that are looking for ways to streamline their communications and enhance their patient experience."

The new PracticeMojo Managed solution provides the ultimate in automated patient communication. Patients can receive appointment reminders and recalls in the format of their choice including emails, text messages, automated phone reminders, and even postcards. And now, practices can also have their patients complete all required patient forms before they come for their appointment including the COVID-19 questionnaire.

This solution provides benefits for dental patients and office staff alike. Patients will enjoy a more personalized experience and dental staff will be able to save time by streamlining communications without sacrificing customer service.

About ProSites

ProSites delivers innovative website design and digital marketing solutions that help dental professionals achieve measurable practice growth. Their comprehensive suite of solutions includes ready-to-go and custom website design, search engine marketing, social media management, automated patient communications and pay-per-click solutions. ProSites is trusted by over 7,000 dental, medical and professional practices and endorsed by 14 state dental associations. To learn more about ProSites’ PracticeMojo visit or call (888) 932-3644. 

DentaQuest Selects MouthWatch Platform to Expand Teledentistry Capabilities

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2020

DentaQuest, the nation's leading oral health organization, is working with MouthWatch, a leader in innovative patient-friendly, clinician-focused teledentistry solutions, to provide the TeleDent teledentistry platform to more than 70 DentaQuest managed or affiliated dental practices in Alabama, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.

The TeleDent platform will enable DentaQuest-affiliated dentists to conduct both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (store and forward) teledentistry encounters with patients, including video and messaging interactions and sharing of files and photos.

"Teledentistry has been essential for dentists during the COVID-19 pandemic. It enables them to connect with patients for emergency triage and consulting encounters, greatly reducing strain on hospital emergency rooms and dental practices," said Todd Cruse, President, DentaQuest Care Group. "We also believe teledentistry will be an increasingly important part of oral health in the future, facilitating improved access for those in underserved communities and accelerating medical-dental integration."

According to MouthWatch founder and CEO Brant Herman, "MouthWatch and DentaQuest are dedicated to providing dentists and patients with improved access to dental care by delivering user-friendly technology that will become an integral part of oral health both during and after the pandemic. Working together, we will deliver more effective and convenient dental care to a greater number of patients."

About DentaQuest

DentaQuest manages dental and vision benefits for 27+ million Americans and provides direct patient care through a network of more than 70 oral health centers in 6 states. They provide outcomes-based dental solutions for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals nationwide.

About MouthWatch

MouthWatch, LLC has been developing teledentistry solutions since 2012 and is a leader in clinician-focused teledentistry, digital case presentation tools and intraoral imaging devices. They are the founders of the Teledentistry Innovation Awards, known as "The Tellies", which recognizes teledentistry innovators nationally.

DenMat Introduces a New Hydrogen Peroxide Oral Rinse

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2020

The oral rinse is the 3rd product in the company’s new infection control category of products.

DenMat Holdings, LLC (“DenMat”), today announced the launch of a new hydrogen peroxide oral rinse to compliment the recently launched hand sanitizer and hard surface cleanser products in the newly created Infection Control category. DenMat’s Hydrogen Peroxide Oral Rinse is formulated with 1.5% hydrogen peroxide and xylitol® to significantly reduce bacteria in the mouth.

“Our newly created Infection Control category continues to grow with the addition of the hydrogen peroxide oral rinse,” said David Casper, CEO for DenMat Holdings, LLC. “We expect this new product will be extremely well received, based on demand for our existing line of infection control products. With the ingredients and manufacturing capability already in place to produce these products, inventory is robust and ready to ship without delay.”

The alcohol-free formulation features a fresh mint flavor and is sweetened with xylitol to help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth and prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth. The foaming action created by the release of oxygen also helps to inhibit bacteria growth and aids in the removal of oral debris and healing of minor mouth irritations. The large half-gallon and gallon bottles with dispensing pumps are ideal for chairside application for practices using this rinse as an infection control agent with patients prior to and after treatment. DenMat also offers a convenient 16 oz. size for patient at-home care. The rinse is available to dentists at and to consumers at

About DenMat:

Since 1974, DenMat is a leader in high-quality dental products for dental professionals around the world. DenMat makes and assembles most of its products at its world headquarters on the Central Coast of California. DenMat offers three main product categories: Consumables, Small Equipment, and a Dental Laboratory. DenMat's consumables include brands that are known and trusted, including Fluoridex®, Geristore®, Core Paste®, Tenure®, Ultra-Bond®, Infinity® Splash Max®, Precision®, Perfectemp®, Atridox® and LumiSmile White®. DenMat's small equipment offering includes a broad range of products, including NV® PRO3 and SOL® soft-tissue diode lasers, the Rotadent® power toothbrush, PeriOptix® magnification loupes and lights, Flashlite® curing lights and a full line of high-quality Hartzell® hand instruments. DenMat is also home to Lumineers®, the world's #1 patient-requested thin veneer, and Snap-On Smile®, the life-changing removable appliance.

Dentsply Sirona Inc Wins Summary Judgment Against Edge Endo and US Endodontics in Patent Infringement Case

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2020

DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (“Dentsply Sirona”) (Nasdaq: XRAY), The Dental Solutions Company, today announced that on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, in a ruling by Judge Joseph F. Bataillon, held that EdgeTaper Encore endodontic files sold by US Endodontics and Edge Endo infringe at least three valid claims of patents asserted by Dentsply Sirona Inc. Judge Bataillon granted Dentsply Sirona’s motion for summary judgment that each of the three patent claims were infringed by EdgeTaper Encore and that Dentsply Sirona’s three patent claims are valid. The Court also rejected Edge’s request to dismiss Dentsply Sirona’s claim that Edge’s infringement was willful. A finding of willful infringement allows the Court to award treble damages and attorneys’ fees against an adjudicated infringer.

Dentsply Sirona’s case against Edge and US Endo is scheduled for trial before a jury in Albuquerque, New Mexico beginning on August 17, 2020. At issue will be Dentsply Sirona’s claims for willful infringement and damages with respect to the three claims that have already been held valid and infringed, as well as Dentsply Sirona’s assertion of infringement with respect to additional patent claims.

About Dentsply Sirona

Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with a 133-year history of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solutions offering including dental equipment and dental consumable products under a strong portfolio of world class brands. The Company also manufactures and markets healthcare consumable products. As The Dental Solutions Company, Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better, safer and faster dentistry. The Company’s shares of common stock are listed in the United States on Nasdaq under the symbol XRAY. Visit for more information about Dentsply Sirona and its products. 

UnitedHealthcare Dental Launches Teledentistry Option to Help Plan Participants Avoid Unnecessary ER Visits

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

New offering is part of UnitedHealthcare Dental’s comprehensive response to COVID-19, which also includes financial support for customers and enhanced payments for network providers

Telehealth resources are becoming increasingly important in response to COVID-19, with teledentistry playing a key role in helping people maintain proper oral health and avoid potentially unnecessary visits to the emergency room. (Graphic: Business Wire)

UnitedHealthcare Dental continues to evolve its products and services to improve access to oral care, while lowering costs. The latest offering includes teledentistry services designed to reduce unnecessary emergency room (ER) visits and more efficiently get patients to the most appropriate setting for in-person care.

In addition, UnitedHealthcare Dental is providing important financial support to employers and network dentists in response to COVID-19.

Dental care ranks among the most frequently avoidable emergency room visits,1 with teledentistry providing a resource that may help plan participants make more informed decisions about where to go for care. While many dental practices have re-opened for routine care with appropriate precautions related to COVID-19, telehealth resources – along with at-home hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day and daily flossing – continue to take on added importance in helping people maintain proper oral health and reduce the risk of exposure associated with avoidable in-person visits.

“These actions to improve the access and affordability of dental care for our customers and plan participants are a continuation of our enterprise’s comprehensive steps in response to COVID-19, including financial relief for customers and support for network providers,” said Colleen Van Ham, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Dental. “As the COVID-19 situation continues, these solutions are designed to expand coverage, support health care providers and bolster the well-being of the people we serve.”

Details of this comprehensive approach include:

• Teledentistry capability for dental plan participants that provides access to at-home telephone and video consultations for advice and guidance to an appropriate setting for in-person care, such as their own dentist, another local dentist with availability or a primary care physician*. The resource is available at no member cost sharing (i.e., waived deductible and copay) or extra cost for people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s fully insured employer-sponsored, Medicare Advantage and select Medicaid dental plans**.Teledentistry is available to eligible plan participants by calling the UnitedHealthcare customer service number on the back of their member ID cards.

• Premium relief for employers with fully insured UnitedHealthcare group dental benefits, giving customers a 50% one-month premium reduction in July. This is part of the $1.5 billion of support to customers provided by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in response to COVID-19 challenges***.

• Enhanced care provider payments totaling up to $10 million through the end of 2020 for many network dentists for certain services related to routine exams, emergency services and initial evaluations for children and adults****. Enhanced payments range between $5 and $10 in addition to the dentist’s contracted fee for applicable services. Network dentists may be eligible to gain access to a portion of UnitedHealthcare Dental’s relief package by enrolling at

UnitedHealthcare Dental serves more than 13 million people enrolled in employer-sponsored, Medicare and Medicaid plans, helping provide access to care via a network of nearly 120,000 dental professionals.

*Not all dental services are eligible for teledentistry.

**Waived member cost sharing for teledentistry for eligible plan participants valid until Sept. 30, 2020; eligible teledentistry services will not apply to the frequency or annual out-of-pocket maximum under the terms of the benefit plan. Medicaid state-specific rules and regulations may apply. For Medicaid state specific details, please refer to your specific state UnitedHealthcare Community Plan website.

***Premium relief may not be available in all states.

****Enhanced rates available until program funding is exhausted and may not be available in all states or for all dental plans.

1 International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 2017,

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @UHC on Twitter.

NYU Dentistry Awarded $2 Million to Train Dentists to Treat People with Disabilities

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Through New Training Program Funding, ‘Bridging the Gap’ Aims to Expand Dental Workforce with Skills and Commitment to Patients with Disabilities and Complex Medical Conditions

NYU College of Dentistry’s Department of Pediatric Dentistry has received a nearly $2 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to train dentists and other health professionals to provide oral health care to people with disabilities and complex medical conditions. This is the fourth HRSA grant awarded to the Department of Pediatric Dentistry since 2015.

The Bridging the Gap program, led by Courtney H. Chinn, DDS, MPH, clinical associate professor and associate chair of pediatric dentistry at NYU Dentistry, will integrate this training into NYU’s existing Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry and will create new training programs and curricula to educate general dentists and dental hygienists on caring for patients with disabilities.

“People with disabilities and complex medical conditions face too many barriers in accessing oral health services, including finding a dentist with the skills and capabilities to manage their care. We are working to build a competent and compassionate dental workforce to care for people with these unique needs, ensuring that dentists have the skills for, and commitment to, caring for vulnerable populations,” said Chinn.

While some dental programs may focus on people with disabilities, special needs dentistry is not formally recognized as an accredited specialty.  Many general dentists lack the skills, experience, or capacity to care for people with disabilities. Historically, given their training, pediatric dentists have been the primary dental professionals to serve people with disabilities, but there are not enough pediatric dentists and they are often unable to continue caring for these patients after they reach adulthood.

Moreover, some people with disabilities and medical conditions have poor oral health due to difficulty with daily activities like brushing their teeth or the medications they take. Patients are often forced to forego preventive care in a dentist’s office and are only seen in hospital operating rooms or under sedation—and only when a dental emergency occurs.

To address this public health need, NYU Dentistry opened its new Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities in early 2019 to provide much-needed care for people whose disabilities or medical conditions prevent them from receiving care in a conventional dental setting. The center includes specialized equipment, sedation suites, and a multisensory room--and importantly, offers a unique training opportunity.

The Bridging the Gap program will train pediatric dental postgraduate students to care for people with disabilities, including developing and implementing a new curriculum and enhancing their clinical experiences through rotations at the NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities and NYU’s school-based dental care program in New York City schools.

Bridging the Gap will also provide training for other health professionals. NYU Dentistry will create a one-year program for dentists and dental hygienists caring for children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities. The program will also partner with NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing to pilot a teledentistry program in which nurse practitioner students doing clinical rotations in New York City schools and other community settings will connect people with disabilities to NYU Dentistry for virtual treatment planning and referrals.

Throughout the program, Chinn and his team will evaluate its success through pre- and post-surveys of trainees to measure their confidence in treating people with disabilities and intent to treat vulnerable populations.

The five-year grant (D88HP37550-01-00) begins July 1, 2020, with the training programs launching in September 2021. Each year, 16 pediatric dental postdoctoral students and up to three general dentists and/or dental hygienists are expected to participate in the program, along with many additional interprofessional students.

About NYU College of Dentistry

Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating nearly 10 percent of the nation’s dentists. NYU Dentistry has a significant global reach with a highly diverse student body. Visit for more.

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