Program provides one-on-one training focused on treating patients with intellectual and physical disabilities
PHOENIX, ARIZ. September 11, 2020 – The Pacific Dental Services® (PDS) Foundation Dentists for Special Needs clinic is pleased to announce it will host a new residency program for pediatric residents from New York University Langone Dental Medicine. Commencing Tuesday, September 15th, the program will provide four second-year residents and four first-year residents with one-on-one training focused on providing comprehensive oral health care to patients with special needs. In addition, the program will also provide the pediatric residents with training on special needs advocacy and guidance.
"The PDS Foundation Dentists for Special Needs is leading the charge in making oral health care accessible to patients with intellectual and physical disabilities," said Kyle Guerin, Director, PDS Foundation & Corporate Social Responsibility. "One of the biggest unmet needs for patients with special needs is oral health care, which is why this residency program is so crucial. We're truly grateful to work with NYU Langone Dental Medicine on this program."
The PDS Foundation Dentists for Special Needs clinic provides high-quality oral health care for children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. The clinic offers patients with special needs sensory-integrated operatories and state-of-the-art technology, as well as specially-trained dentists equipped with behavioral and environmental techniques to ensure successful patient visits. Additionally, the not-for-profit clinic, which was founded by the PDS Foundation, provides patients and their caregivers with education to help them with their oral health in between visits. The PDS Foundation has been leading the charge to make dentistry more accessible to people with special needs through training and advocacy. The Foundation’s leadership understands that caring for patients with special needs takes not only special training, but also compassion.
Nationwide, more than 52 million people in the U.S. have special needs. Unfortunately, less than 10% of dentists treat patients with disabilities because of their lack of training and the patients’ negative reactions to common dental procedures. For this reason, access to specialized care such as dentistry is among the main healthcare concerns for people with special needs.
"This program will allow our pediatric residents to prepare for a future in dentistry that is overlooked in healthcare," said Shreekrishna Akilesh, DMD, MPH, Senior Associate Director, NYU Langone Dental Medicine. "It's important to provide a patients-first approach to dentistry, especially with pediatric patients who require more guidance and care. The residents participating in this program will walk away with both a clinical and a compassionate understanding on how to treat patients with special needs, opening up many doors to better care for everyone."
The PDS Foundation Dentists for Special Needs clinic is part of the PDS Foundation’s mission to improve oral healthcare for all patients, one person at a time. To learn more about the new residency program, contact the PDS Foundation at PDSFoundation@pacden.com.