UB receives nearly $ 735,000 to expand dental care for disabled patients in WNY – UB Now: News and insights for UB faculty and staff

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The School of Dentistry received a grant of nearly $ 735,000 from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation to increase the delivery of essential dental treatment to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in western New York State , as well as to help develop the oral health care workforce prepared to treat this population.

The funding will help pick up and expand a previous initiative between the dental school’s S-Miles To Go program and the non-profit Arc GLOW that provided dental care to patients with disabilities in the university’s mobile dental clinic. The grant will expand services to reach the nearly 2,000 people with disabilities served by Arc GLOW in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

“We are very grateful for the support provided by the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation. The foundation enabled the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine to continue its important outreach activities by providing access to dental care to underserved populations throughout western New York State, ”said Joseph J Zambon, Emeritus Professor of SUNY and Dean of Dental School.

“We are proud to partner with the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine to improve the oral health of those in need in Western New York State,” said Kenzie Ferguson, vice president of founding and corporate social responsibility for Delta Dental of California. “The partnership helps us achieve our broader common goals of improving access to oral health care in various underserved communities. “

Patients with disabilities face many barriers to oral health care, including a lack of access to transportation, adequate coverage and reimbursement through Medicaid and other insurance, and a shortage of dentists trained to respond. their needs, says Stephen N. Abel, Senior Director. community and professional initiatives at the School of Dentistry. Inadequate compensation for provider time leads some dentists to refuse to treat disabled patients, he says. And those who do often have waiting lists of several months.

By setting up a mobile dental clinic at Arc GLOW sites, the School of Dentistry will remove major barriers to care for Arc GLOW staff, those served and their families.

“Our partnership with the UB School of Dental Medicine addresses a huge need in GLOW counties in western New York State,” said Shelley Falitico, director of development and public relations at Arc GLOW. “We will work to make our families, staff and loved ones aware of the range of dental services offered by the UB dental clinic.”

Services will be provided in a new mobile dental clinic which is expected to begin operations in early 2022. The clinic, operated by UB staff, faculty and students, will offer comprehensive oral health care, including preventive, restorative and surgical procedures. Care that cannot be provided in the mobile dental van will be provided at the UB Dental Clinic at Squire Hall on the South Campus.

The initiative also aims to develop a preventive oral health program that will address the behavioral determinants of common oral diseases among members of the disability community.

The new mobile dental unit – a 40-foot-long, two-chair clinic equipped with a state-of-the-art panoramic x-ray unit, digital x-ray, sterilization center, chair lift rolling and electronic health record system – will operate at Arc GLOW Locations several days a week.

The S-Miles To Go program has served communities in western New York State for more than 20 years, delivering more than 45,000 patient visits and providing students with experiential learning opportunities in s ‘occupying the most vulnerable populations in the region.

“We hope that this type of clinical practicum – in which students treat patients in an environment that emphasizes their abilities rather than their disability – will inspire dental students to be part of the solution to improving health. access to care, ”Abel said.

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