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NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities Opens

NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities
Operatory Hallway

The 8,000 square foot Center, located on the 8th floor of the Weissman Building, is now open. The Center provides much-needed comprehensive care for patients whose disabilities or medical conditions prevent them from receiving care in a conventional dental setting.

The new Center is designed to meet the unique and diverse needs of people with a range of disabilities. It features nine spacious treatment rooms. In addition, there are two fully-equipped sedation suites to provide both inhaled and intravenous sedation administered under the supervision of anesthesiologists. The onsite sedation options eliminate the need for most patients to be referred to hospitals, where they may wait as long as six months to get an appointment to be seen in an operating room. These visits are often one-off emergencies without follow up or continuous preventive care, which can trigger a cycle of recurring dental problems. By providing dental care across each patient's life span, the Center aims to break the vicious cycle of neglect and repeated hospitalization.

Led by Dr. Ron Kosinski – a pediatric dentist and dental anesthesiologist – the Center is staffed by multidisciplinary faculty, a nurse practitioner, a nurse, a social worker, 3 patient service representatives, a clinic manager, and a patient care coordinator. Patients are cared for by faculty with particular interest and expertise in treating people with disabilities, with senior dental students providing basic care not requiring any sedation.

A multisensory room, located off the Center's waiting area, offers patients an immersive environment in which to reduce their anxiety, help them relax, and engage their senses. The room was designed in partnership with the NYU Ability Project, an interdisciplinary team of health specialists, engineers, and artists working at the intersection of disability and technology.

Since 1971, the College has conducted a successful Special Patient Care Program, an honors program for a small group of exceptional senior dental students to gain experience working with people with disabilities. Over time, the new Center will expand these educational opportunities to all NYU dental students and residents, thereby creating the next generation of dentists who will practice with competence, confidence, and compassion in providing quality dental care for people with disabilities.

All members of the NYU Dentistry community are encouraged to visit the new Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities.